On this day in 1954, the United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously, in the case of Brown versus Board of Education, that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. The trial came about after young Linda Brown was denied access to her local elementary school in Topeka, Kansas due to the color of her skin. Six years later in New Orleans, Louisiana, Lucille and Abon Bridges made the decision to send their six-year-old daughter Ruby to an all-Caucasian school. Ruby attended school escorted by federal marshals and endured viscous protestors. In solitude (the rest of the students withdraw from the class), Ruby attended every day of her first grade year, the singular student of Barbara Henry. Ruby Bridges still lives in New Orleans and serves as chair of the Ruby Bridges Foundation, an organization she formed in 1999 to promote “the values of tolerance, respect, and appreciation of all differences.”

Marion Coleman of Castro Valley, California made this quilt, titled “Ruby Bridges: What a Difference A School Makes,” in 2006. The 41½” square wall quilt includes images and phrases printed and stitched on fabric. The quilting is described as follows: Quilted in red thread: “Tessie Provost” “Gail Etienne” “Leonna Tate” “Mrs. Barbara Hershey teacher” “Marshall’s” “Ruby Bridges” “United States” Quilted in black thread, “Jim Crow” “family” “friends” “community” “programs” “coleman” “rulers” Quilted in white thread, “pencils” “integration” “courage” “books” “letters”. The quilt is part of the Michigan State University Museum’s permanent collection.

View this quilt on The Quilt Index to read more about it’s history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view.


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Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance

How To Trim Flying Geese Without A Specialty Ruler

If you don’t have a Bloc-Loc ruler, you may find trimming these flying geese challenging. But by following these steps, you should be able to get four accurate geese in each color!

First, line up your ruler so the point of the flying geese unit will be trimmed exactly ¼” above the point. Try to line the unit up as straight as possible on the other three sides.

Next, flip the unit over. Line up the edge you just cut on the 2” line of the ruler as shown below, and trim the excess from the top.

Flip the unit right side up again. Line the lower left corner up with the 3 ½” mark on your ruler as shown above. Trim the excess on the right.

Finally, flip the unit over again so the point is pointing towards the 2” line. Align the left edge of the unit with the 3 ½” ruler mark as shown above and trim the excess on the right. Your flying goose unit is now ready to be pieced into your block!

Quilt Documentation Tip

 Andrea’s block story is all about the importance of quilt guilds. Quilting can feel solitary, but guilds bring us together. It’s a topic of conversation that was discussed with two Birthday Block of the Month Designers in a recent Textile Talk where the participants all shared emotional stories about their love for their guilds. 

Did you know that your guild can document your quilts as a group? Consider hosting a quilt documentation day in your guild! Follow these instructions and have members share three minute stories about one meaningful quilt in the Quilt Alliance’s signature Go Tell It documentation program. You could even host a screening so all of your members can see the videos! Get in touch at: qsos@quiltalliance.org

See You in October for Month Seven!

Thank you so much to everyone who has participated in the Quilt Alliance’s Birthday Block of the Month so far! Our designer for next month, the seventh block we’re making together, is Bonnie Hunter herself! 

Be sure to tag @quiltalliance and @3rdstoryworkshop on Instagram with your block photos this month, and use the hashtag #QuiltAllianceBOM. And leave any questions about this month’s block in the comments below!


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