Sarah Mary Taylor


Sarah Mary Taylor was born August 12, 1916, in Anding, Mississippi, a small rural community near Yazoo City where she still lives and works today. Taylor credits her mother, Pearlie Posie (1894-1984), with teaching her the basics of quilting, thus perpetuating the African American design continuum. However steeped in this tradition, Taylor is quick to point out that her quilt concepts are her own inventions. She derives her inspiration largely from the immediate sources nearby, such as television and magazine images. Taylor is also comfortable in using her own hand to trace a motif for her quilts as demonstrated in her "Hand Quilt."

Color is clearly an important and integral concern to Taylor. On this subject she talks freely of the way colors work with each other and, even though her self taught eye, understands the impact of contrasting color values.

Technically, Sarah Mary Taylor uses appliqué to construct her quilts. She stitches her cut-out figures to the squares without turning the edges under, an approach that many traditional quilters would view as raw or untidy. However, Taylor gives attention to overall design, color and effect resulting in the visual impact of an artist rather than the work of a seamstress. In their final analysis, Taylor's quilts become a textile collage which not only redefines our interpretation of quilting, but pushes the limits in new directions.