Geraldine Wilkins: Living Water Quilter

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Geraldine Wilkins

Geraldine lectures and teaches at international quilt shows, like Quilt Con, and at quilt shops, regional retreats, and guilds.  As a former Westalee Design Accredited Teacher and Juki America Educator, she crisscrossed the United States, teaching at guilds and large quilt shows.

Her quilts have been exhibited in local and regional quilt shows, national touring events and shows with Hoffman Fabrics, American Quilt Society Quilt Week at Paducah, Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival, curated exhibits at the Virginia Quilt Museum and juried Sacred Threads 2019 exhibit.

Geraldine was featured in “Designer Spotlight, “an article published in the July/August 2019 issue of Quiltmaker magazine. She is a regular contributing quilt designer in Fons & Porter's Quick + Easy Quilts and Quiltmaker magazines. She contributes to the following quilt books: 1000 Quilt Inspirations 2015, The Quilter’s Planner 2017, 2020/1, and Free Motion Framework.


Lisa Woolfork

Lisa Woolfork is an associate professor of English, specializing in African American literature and culture. Her teaching and research explore Black women writers, Black identity, trauma theory, and American slavery. She is the founder of Black Women Stitch, the sewing group where Black lives matter. She is also the host/producer of Stitch Please, a weekly audio podcast that centers Black women, girls, and femmes in sewing. In the summer of 2017, she actively resisted the white supremacist marches in her community, Charlottesville Virginia. The city became a symbol of lethal resurging white supremacist violence. She remains active in a variety of university and community initiatives, including the Community Engaged Scholars program. She believes in the power of creative liberation.


Insights from this episode:

  • Geraldine's days as a photojournalist
  • Her transition from photography to quilting
  • How she learned how to maintain machines
  • Lessons she has carried from her photography classes
  • Ruler classes with Geraldine
  • Her quilting project (Beautiful Sister Quilt Lock)
  • Her teaching process
  • What a successful quilt con means to Geraldine
  • Building a quilting studio


Quotes from the show:

  • “I love that the skills that I developed as a photojournalist play well into my overall purpose with sewing and quilting”  —Geraldine Wilkins in “Stitch Please”
  • “I knew that it was critical to building confidence just not only in myself but to teach others how to do it (dissembling sewing machines) so that they can have the confidence as well” —Geraldine Wilkins in “Stitch Please”
  • “That’s what I share in my class: education through thread and needles and the machine. If you learn those three, your confidence will increase” —Geraldine Wilkins in “Stitch Please”
  • “I’ve learned over the years that if you make it too complicated, ladies shut down. And I wanted to simplify it” —Geraldine Wilkins in “Stitch Please”
  • “I think we all have these in our lives that are important to helping us develop and mature in different areas of our lives (…) we have women who we call sisters because they are that close to us” —Geraldine Wilkins in “Stitch Please”
  • “My photography career has helped me accelerate my ability to create this studio. I’m always refining it. But I know I have a bit of an advantage, but I wanna share those tips so people do not have to spend weeks and months trying to figure it out” —Geraldine Wilkins in “Stitch Please”


Stay Connected:

Lisa Woolfork

Instagram: Lisa Woolfork

Twitter: Lisa Woolfork


Geraldine Wilkins

Website: Geraldine Wilkins

Instagram: @livingwaterquilter


This episode was produced and managed by Podcast Laundry.

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Hosted by Lisa Woolfork

Lisa is a fourth-generation sewing enthusiast who learned to sew while earning a PhD in African American literature and culture. She has been sewing for more than twenty years while also teaching, researching, and publishing in Black American literature and culture.