Martha Ann’s Quilt for Queen Victoria is the true story of one African American who emigrated to Liberia and took her sewing skills with her. Martha Ricks’ quilt for the queen was later exhibited at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, where thousands observed the Coffee Tree Quilt and its beauty.
Quilting continues to be popular in Liberia. One traditional wedding gift is a quilt. The President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is also a quilt lover! According to one published report, there is a “a colorful quilt, made by Liberian refugees, of a ship arriving on new soil. The sun is rising. Palm trees evoke paradise. Above the drawing are the words: The Love of Liberty” that sits behind the President at her desk in the Executive Mansion. You must hear the speech by Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – it’s like going to church! (Thanks to the Chicago Defender podcast program).