Freedom Farms Cooperative (Fannie Lou Hamer) c. 2021 Overall. Photo by Patricia A. Montgomery

image of Patricia taken by Patricia A. Montgomery

Patricia A. Montgomery

African American quilting

Detail of "Sync IV," a quilt by master artist Patricia A. Montgomery (Photo courtesy of Patricia A. Montgomery)African American quilting is often characterized by vivid color palettes, strong contrasting color combinations, asymmetrical and strip piecing, uneven and large quilting stitches, the use of hidden protective charm symbols, large design elements, appliquéd images, and interpretations of traditional Anglo-American patterns.  A marriage of American quilting traditions and West and Central African textile traditions, African American quilting styles, designs, and techniques are used to record and share events of cultural, historical, and familial importance to the quilter.

Patricia A. Montgomery has been quilting for over four decades; she taught herself to quilt after learning how to sew in a high school home economics class.  Since 2001, she has been a member of the African American Quilting Guild of Oakland.  Patricia’s quilts have been exhibited both within the United States and internationally.

Living Cultures Grant Program


African-American Historical Swing Coats

ACTA funds will support Patricia Montgomery’s collaboration with the African-American Quilting Guild to create wearable quilts / swing coats and present them in a fashion show.

Apprenticeship Program


Patricia was a master artist in ACTA’s Apprenticeship Program in 2011, with apprentice Helen Anderson.  The apprenticeship built upon Helen’s mastery of practical skills to encourage her creative acumen as she created six story quilts of her own design.



Sync IV, a quilt by master artist Patricia A. Montgomery.  Photo courtesy of Patricia A. Montgomery

Detail of Red Door, a quilt by master quilter Patricia A. Montgomery.  Photo courtesy of Patricia A. Montgomery

Detail of Underground Railroad, a quilt by apprentice Helen Anderson.  Photo courtesy of Helen Anderson

Helen Anderson’s first quilt, Recalling the Journey, developed during her apprenticeship with Patricia Montgomery.

Detail of the Adinkra symbol of the Sankofa bird, a symbol for learning from the past.

Detail of log cabin block pattern.

Detail of log cabin block pattern.

Helen Anderson (apprentice, left) and Patricia Montgomery (master, right) holding Anderson’s second quilt, The Answer Prayer (working title).

Helen Anderson’s second quilt, The Answer Prayer (working title).

Detail of center piece.

Detail of the center Adinkra symbol Gye Nyame, which represents the presence of God.

Detail of hand, representing reaching towards God’s altar.

Detail of the Adinkra symbols Nyame Nti (ferns), which represent the grace of God.

Batik backing material of Helen Anderson’s quilt The Answer Prayer (working title).

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