The Loving Quilt

The Texas Story Project.

Barbara McCraw expresses how quilting reflects her life in this interview recorded at the opening of the exhibition "And Still We Rise" at the Bullock Museum on June 19, 2015.

Barbara McCraw grew up watching her mother take scraps of fabric and turn them into something almost magical. Now, this multiple-award winning textile artist says she creates one-of-a-kind quilts in order to express imagination, vision, and heritage.

McCraw created The Loving Quilt in 2012 for the exhibition And Still We Rise, a retrospective commemorating significant moments in African American history. The subject of this quilt is the 1924 Virginia Racial Integrity Act which banned interracial marriage. The quilt tells the story of Mildred and Richard Loving, a mixed race couple, who were legally married in Washington D.C. in 1958. After moving to Virginia, they were arrested and sentenced to prison.

Their convictions were upheld through a series of challenges in the Virginia state courts, but the Lovings appealed their case to the U.S. Supreme Court. On June 12, 1967, Chief Justice Earl Warren overturned their convictions and wrote in the unanimous opinion that, "Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.’’ With that decision, interracial marriage became legal in the United States.

Editor's note: This story was produced by the Bullock Museum for the Texas Story Project. For more information about this artist and her work, click here.

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