Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Franklin D Roosevelt's Postage Stamp Quilt (in cotton fabric and stamps!)

I recently referred to a connection between stamps, stamp collecting and quilts, all of which I'm interested in. Learning that the 32nd President of the USA, Franklin D Roosevelt was known as the Stamp collecting president, I've been reading about his love of the hobby and how he learned so much about the geography and history of the USA from stamps and went on to become involved in their design.  He was instrumental in the first stamp issued to commemmorate Mother's day in 1934. This stamp featured the painting "My Mother" by the American artist Whistler - and the president said it would be great if Americans could send a card to their mother with this 3c  stamp on the envelope on Mother's Day.  FDR was responsible for advising on the issue of approximately 200 US stamps during his presidency, including some of the first Airmail stamps, and stamps commemmorating some of the National Parks of the USA which would help to boost tourism.
The link between this and my own work, creating a "quilt" design made of stamps has been the result of another discovery relating to Franklin D Roosevelt and his stamp collection.  I've just read a very interesting book by the author and quilter Kyra Hicks, who has carried out research about a presidential gift to FDR of a "Postage Stamp Quilt".  This was a quilt made by an African American named Estella Weaver Nukes from tiny, postage stamp size, pieces of cotton fabric.  This quilt has never been found but it is thought that Estella made several quilts.
Franklin Roosevelt's Postage Stamp quilt by Kyra Hicks
 My second "Stamp Quilt" is now in the design stage and I'm hoping to incorporate more American stamps and maybe include some of the many stamps I have showing the Stamp Collecting president, FDR.

I've spent hours today sorting out a huge bag of stamps from the USA with the iconic images of the Stars and Stripes, Statue of Liberty, Presidents of the USA, and the American Eagle in many different shades. It's just a case of deciding which to choose to make up a quilt design!


  1. I don't know anything about stamp collections or quilting ... but, I love my sister, Kyra, and I appreciate you for referencing her in your blog post. Good luck on this blog and your future creative efforts!

    1. Oh thanks so much! The book is great and I've also just ordered another one of her books about self publishing - I think it must be coming from USA as it seems to be taking a while, but so looking forward to reading it and trying to put my work into a little book! So great to connect with people on the other side of the pond too!