Martha Mitchell of Possum Walk Road

Texas Quiltmaker

978-1-881515-22-7 Cloth
8.5 x 11. 80 pp. 50 color. 10 b&w photos. Line art.
Pub Date: 09/01/1999
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The patchwork quilt is an art form born of necessity, and it flourished in early America because of the need to save and use every scrap of cloth to produce warm bedcovers. Some quilts are rather crude and strictly utilitarian, consisting of top, lining, and batting merely tacked in some way to hold the layers together. From the beginning, though, there were women who made their quilts as attractive as they could within the limitations of available materials. Quiltmaking, a very useful, practical, necessary activity, could also become a vehicle for artistic self-expression.

Huntsville resident Martha Mitchell, a self-taught painter who worked in oils for years as a hobby, became increasingly well-known for the fine quilts she produced.

Mitchell’s quilting form is firmly rooted in the folk tradition. As a child in Kentucky, she learned the basic skills of quiltmaking from her mother. In the years that followed, she completed more than one hundred handmade quilts, working with traditional folk patterns, but also exercising her own creativity in modifications that often result in a more complex and sophisticated art.

Martha Mitchell of Possum Walk Road is Melvin Rosser Mason’s story of Martha Mitchell and her art. On page after page Mason runs text and illustrative material, with a profusion of color plates and details that particularize the art of one of the nation’s finest quiltmakers.

Published by Texas Review Press