Zinnia Variation.

On this day in 1848, Lester Aglar Walton was appointed as U.S. minister to Liberia. Walton was mainly known as a diplomat and a journalist. He was the first African American to write for a daily paper, the St. Louis Star, from 1902 to 1906. He was also active in the late twentieth century entertainment world as a songwriter and an advocate for other African American artists.

Leona Johnson of Monrovia, Liberia hand pieced and hand appliqued this Zinnia Variation quilt in 1992. From this Quilt Index record:

The quilt was brought to Flint, Michigan by the maker’s sister’s son, Rev. Emmanuel Bailey. Emmanual goes to Monrovia, Liberia about every 6 months to see his relatives and to work on the building of an orphanage for the victims of war. He put his order in for these quilts last January and then picked them up in August. He brought back 12 quilts this time, took them in mid October to the International Institute of Flint’s fall sale and sold four. We purchased two at $250 each for the MSU Museum. The remaining quilts will be shown Brethren United Methodist Quilt Show in mid-November. Many Liberian quilters are decendents of American Slaves. Popular patterns include the Lone Star and Wig Rose (or Zinnia variation).

View this quilt on The Quilt Index to find out! Read more about its history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view or click the “See full record” link to see a larger image and all the data entered about that quilt.


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Amy Milne headshot

Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance

This entry was posted in On this Day in History Quilts series and tagged , , , by quiltalliance. Bookmark the permalink.

About quiltalliance

The Quilt Alliance is a nonprofit 501c3 organization established in 1993 whose mission is to document, preserve, and share our International quilt heritage by collecting the rich stories that historic and contemporary quilts, and their makers, tell about our nation's diverse peoples and their communities. In support of this mission, the Alliance brings together quilt makers and designers, the quilt industry, quilt scholars and teachers, and quilt collectors to further the following goals: To promote the understanding of the quilt as an important grassroots art form. To make information about quilts available to a broad public. To educate the public about the importance of documenting quilts and quiltmakers so that their stories will not be lost.

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