Geraldine Nash of Port Gibson (photo by Beth Batton).

Geraldine Nash

Quilter, Port Gibson

Geraldine Nash is a native of Claiborne County, growing up on a farm outside of Port Gibson. She was one of eleven children and her mother was an active quilter. She quilted on a regular basis in order to create covers for her children’s beds. Nash did some quilting as a child with her mother, but she soon became more interested in sewing. She learned to sew through taking classes in junior high and with a sewing machine bought for her by her parents, she became busy sewing for family and friends.

In 1988 began work at Mississippi Cultural Crossroads in Port Gibson as a part-time child care worker. Master quilter Hystercine Rankin was working at MCC during this time and Nash began to learn quilting from her. Later on, the two formed Crossroads Quilters, a group of Claiborne County-based quilters that works with MCC to offer quilting instruction to people of all ages. Nash now works as a full-time program assistant at MCC and has a variety of duties.

Nash creates quilts utilizing traditional patterns but uses unique combinations of color and incorporates new components to the older styles. She also makes quilts using her own designs, including appliqued quilts that feature family members or scenes from local life.

She has been very active in teaching quilting to different groups in a variety of locations throughout the state, including at schools, museums, and correctional facilities. In 1996 she demonstrated quilting at the Smithsonian Institution’s Festival of American Folklife in Washington D.C. and at the Cultural Olympiad in Atlanta. Nash has served as a master artist in the Mississippi Arts Commission’s Folk Art Apprenticeship Program and was awarded a fellowship for her quilting from the agency in 1995. She has also been a consistent first-place award winner at the annual “Pieces and Strings” Quilt Contest held in Port Gibson.

For more information on Nash and the other Crossroads Quilters see the following book:

Crosby, David. Quilts and Quilting in Claiborne County: Traditions and Change in a Rural Southern County. Mississippi Cultural Crossroads, 1999.

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