The Journey Quilt is a creation by Debra Morgan, a local Iowa woman. The idea for this quilt came to Deborah from her mother. As the story goes, God had told Morgan’s mother that she needed to make a quilt, despite the fact she did not know how to sew.
While Morgan’s mother was ill, she would take a patch here and there and pretend to be working on this quilt, despite her mother continually telling her that it did not look like she was working on the quilt and doing what God wanted.
In 2009 after the death of her mother she began to take the quilt-making very seriously, it became a sort of coping mechanism for her.
The Journey Quilt is completely hand sewn, and incorporates many different pictures of the milestones African Americans have overcome in American history. The quilt’s pictures reference events as far back as the 1600s when the first African American slaves came to America. Its pictures continue throughout the quilt, ending
with a signed picture of President Barack Obama after winning the 2008 election.
We at St. Ambrose are privileged to have this quilt on display here. During the Juneteenth Celebration, Vice President of Enrollment John Cooper spoke with Morgan about her quilt. She then was contacted by Ramona Amos in Student Activities about the quilt being put on display at SAU.
After speaking to Morgan in August, Amos said, “She was more than happy to have the quilt here for the month of February for Black History Month.”
Morgan also was present to speak after the March to Remember, during the Civil Rights Week events that the school put on this past January.
Having President Obama sign her quilt was a goal that Morgan desperately wanted accomplished. This quilt is living proof that if you set your mind to something, you can accomplish it. Throughout Morgan’s creation of the quilt she was able to look into history more.
This quilt not only represents achievements African Americans have had over the years, but it is also a personal milestone for Morgan. In the 15th Amendment, African Americans were given the right to vote, and with all of the knowledge she obtained in her quilt making process, Morgan made the choice to vote for the first time in the 2008 election. She now hopes to share her quilt, and encourage others that they can reach their dreams.