Thursday, July 30, 2009

Some More Information

I've been asked questions so I thought I would answer them here in case others are also curious. The quilts were done by hand. I am not sure how much instruction they had with actual quilting since most of the quilts were not quilted. Michelle had made quilts before so she hand quilted the 12 angels on her quilt.

The prison opened a new building and so their was a lot of moving. The women were the ones that did the moving so this took away from the time they had to work on their quilts. I also think there was a lot of fear about actually finishing. I've noticed that with my students. Finishing comes judgment in many people's minds.

The women do not get to keep their quilts. However, they are being sent to their families.

We cannot send them packages. Prisoners are only allowed so many packages a year. They cannot be sent directly but must come from a service. I wish it was different but this is the reality of prison.

The Stitching Post does make charity quilts for many different organizations. Rosa is involved and it brings her much joy and comfort. If you want to know more or would like to make a donation, I have information and a wish list. Just email me at and I'll send you the info. I only ask that you include a note that tells "Karen provided this connection" or something to that effect. I want them to know where the information came that got the donation so that they see the connection/ripple effect of allowing me to do the interviews.

I did not ask questions concerning details of their crimes for a couple of reasons. The first being I didn't really care and the other being that it was not the reason I was there.

The uniforms have different collar colors to indicate whether the inmate is new, adjusted, a troublemaker, etc. and pants. Pregnant inmates where jumpers. The only time I did not see inmates in the blue uniforms was when I was in the dog rescue/training barracks. There the women wore brown t-shirts.

The women have been given copies of their transcriptions with the photos and have seen their particular interview online. Elizabeth Wright, Administrative Assistant to the Warden, has done this. She shares with me how excited the women are when they get their copy and see it online. I personally mailed Tangie hers.

I will continue to mail comments to them for as long as people leave comments.

While this was both physically, mentally and emotionally hard on me, I am so glad I did it and I would do it again if given the chance. I don't think these interviews are the whole story of quilts being made in prison.

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