Quilter Nancy Franklin showcases her latest piece during the February meeting of the Brown Sugar Stitchers Quilt Guild in Decatur
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Quilter Nancy Franklin showcases her latest piece during the February meeting of the Brown Sugar Stitchers Quilt Guild in Decatur

Over these cold winter months, many people curl up with a cozy quilt. 

From patchwork or crazy quilts, which are salvaged from old clothes and fabrics, to highly designed patterns, quilts can provide warmth and also tell a story.

And, for black people, quilting has a powerful history in this genre of folk art. 

GPB's Leah Fleming visits the Brown Sugar Stitchers Quilt Guild

During the slavery period, wealthy households used black women for spinning, weaving, sewing and quilting.

Before the abolition of slavery, members of the Underground Railroad often used quilts to mark escape routes directing people to freedom.

On the third Saturday of almost every month, a group of black women gather together in a room at a local library in Decatur to keep an age-old craft alive in the 21st century.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3_ZYSTbuuI&ab_channel=GPBNews

The Brown Sugar Stitchers Quilt Guild was founded in 2000. Twenty years later, the group is still creating art in sisterhood.

GPB’s Leah Fleming visited a recent meeting of the Brown Sugar Stitchers to learn a little more about the group.

We hear from president Elisa Woods, founding member Nancy Franklin, activist Stephanie Laster and several other stitchers to learn more about the cultural power of quilting. 

Stephanie Laster, an HIV/AIDS awareness activist, prepares to share  her 'living quilt' at show and tell.
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Stephanie Laster, an HIV/AIDS awareness activist, prepares to share her 'living quilt' at show and tell.