|Dr. Gaither with her mother and sister Kathy.|
Mamie worked on each of Joan's quilts, the final being the National Black Theatre Festival quilt. Never one to throw her words around, she was frequently found quilting quietly listening to all the conversations going on around her while creating surprises on the quilts that not even Joan knew about until several days, weeks, or months later.
|Detail, Poulson Slaver Quilt|
(c) Joan M.E. Gaither, 2006
|Mama Mamie Stories|
(c) Joan M.E. Gaither
Mama Mamie Stories is relatively unknown outside of Joan's family. Joan created this quilt four years ago to share stories of her mother and her siblings. Included on the quilt is a story about her mother and each one of her brothers and sisters. When Mamie moved to Virginia, Joan sent the quilt to her sister to put outside her mother's room as reminder of all of Mamie's children. The two quilts came together this week and were hung side by side at Mamie's Celebration of Life services as a testimony to her legacy, love, and strength.
|Mamie Ellis working on |
Journey to the White House
"Someone once said to me, 'You are who you think you are; you are who others think you to be, you are who you actually are.' Mama says 'You are the sum total of your life experiences, childhood experiences set values for life.' I say 'life is about choices; you choose who you want to be. Be prepared. Expect the BEST.' The REAL DEAL is 'You are who you are, not who others think you are. All you can ever do is to be your BEST.' "