Betty Ford-Smith: Keeping Tradition Alive

Betty Ford-Smith: Keeping Tradition Alive

Betty Ford-Smith started making Pine Cone Quilts in 2004 under the apprenticeship of a 92 year old African American woman known as Miss Sue. She “became obsessed” with these quilts and wanted to teach others how to make Pine Cone Quilts.

The Pine Burr design is also known as the Pine cone, Target or Bullseye block and Cuckleburr in the south. It is the state of Alabama’s state quilt block. The “Pine cone Patchwork” derives its name from the long leaf pine cone, when looking at the bottom of a pine cone you can find this design. The elders of the past and present weave these beautiful designs in quilts while hosting quilting bee’s in their communities. This quilt is not exclusively African American but is often shown in books discussing African American quilting. The Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina wear the Pine cone Patchwork insignia on their traditional regalia.

The exhibit is in The National Quilt Museum's Corner Gallery February 1-April 16, 2019.


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