Saturday, November 6, 2010

NEWS FLASH- Lucy Mingo Made This Quilt!!

Bible Story, by Lucy Mingo of Gee's Bend, Alabama
Last week, I blogged about a quilt from Gee's Bend, Alabama, which had been attributed to Polly Raymond, daughter of Lucy Mingo. During the week, I discovered that Carolyn Mazloomi had purchased the quilt from Lucy many years ago, and sold it to Kyra Hicks, who sold it to me. Carolyn told me Lucy Mingo had made the quilt, and said it was common for the quilt makers of Gee's Bend to sign other names to their quilts to avoid potential repercussions with the IRS for the $50 they were making on each quilt sale. I was stunned by the revelation, and it seemed I had a little mystery on my hands, but I was perfectly happy to do a little detective work.

It was Lucy Mingo, not Polly Raymond, who made this quilt.
Earlier this week, I got Lucy Mingo's address from Joe Cunningham, who had traveled to Gee's Bend with Julie Silber a few years ago, where they met and befriended Lucy. So, I wrote a letter. In the letter, I said I had the quilt and I thought she might be able to tell me something about it. I included a picture of the quilt for her reference, mentioned that I had ceremoniously welcomed the quilt into my life by sleeping under it with my little old cat, who's my very best friend, and included a picture of little Boo.

Black cats are good luck, not bad. This is little Boo.
Lucy called me yesterday evening, and I was so excited, I was literally shaking. She giggled when I told her that. Lucy verified that she had in fact made the quilt, and was so happy to have a picture of it. She also verified the whole story about why it had been attributed to her daughter, Polly. When she'd seen the picture I sent, she recalled selling it to Carolyn Mazloomi. Lucy also gave me permission to publicly make the correct attribution. Wow!! and hooray!! The quilt is part of her legacy, and I am very grateful to be the one to set the record straight.

Once again, little Boo brought me good luck. Lucy enjoyed the picture of Boo, and we both enjoyed our conversation. She had fond memories of meeting Joe and Julie, including cooking dinner for them. I said they had told me what a good cook she was, and she giggled some more. I love Lucy!

Lucy Mingo is part of the group scheduled to travel to Sisters, Oregon, next summer for the Quilter's Affair and the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. I look forward to meeting her! To add to my good fortune, I also get to meet Julie and Joe on November 20th, when I travel to San Jose for their next Quilt Adventure. I hope to one day meet Kyra and Carolyn, as well. Facebook can be so amazing, even more so if it leads to meeting such extraordinary people in person.

As I said to some of my friends, I am now avoiding feathers, because you could knock me over with one.


  1. I am so pleased that you finally and actually got to the bottom of that story. Well done. It makes the quilt even better having a connection like that.

  2. Me too, and it was a lot quicker than I thought! I brought it over to the Latimer Quilt and Textile Center in Tillamook, Oregon, today...and there will be many other stops on its journey.

  3. I love how you do your detective work!

  4. ps...forgot to add - Boo is a very handsome cat. Glad to see him included in the log list of blog quilter cat models!

  5. Thank you, and glad you enjoyed. Boo is a little girl cat, so we'll call her pretty. There's something about cats and quilts, isn't there! :)