MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Tutwiler Quilters

Among the membership of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi is the Tutwiler Quilters from northern Mississippi—joining the guild in 1996, and earning Fellow status in 2005. Organized in 1988 by Sr. Maureen Delaney and Sr. JoAnn Blomme, the group was created to help Tutwiler, Mississippi’s local women earn an income and support their families.

Many of the Tutwiler Quilters learned the traditional craft of quilting from their mothers or grandmothers. Preserving this tradition, Tutwiler quilts are made in an Afro-American style. Indigenous to the population of the Mississippi Delta, this style utilizes bold colors, a wide variety of designs, and larger stitches. The quilters often take traditional patterns and alter them to create new and improvised designs. Each quilt is unique and highly prized by their patrons.

In 1990, the quilters received national attention when they appeared on “60 Minutes.” In 1997, they were asked to participate in the Smithsonian Institution’s Festival of American Folk Life in Washington D.C.

Today, more than 25 quilters comprise the organization. Tutwiler Quilters’ products are sold at museums across the US. The Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi is honored to have the Tutwiler Quilters among our ranks.