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Portraits of Cloth: Tohono O'odham Quilts of Goldie Richmond - Main Page

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Goldie with lost prize-winning quilts
Goldie Tracy Richmond with one of her
"lost" prize-winning quilts, 1960.
Photo courtesy of Charlsie Poe.

Goldie pieced quilts for most of her life. She recalled stitching her first quilt blocks as a child of only three, then as she matured, her quilts became more precise and creative. Goldie related that she made about 14 quilts per year which she sold in the trading post. Quilt blocks were priced at fifteen cents each. Most of Goldie's quilts, with her amazing original designs, were sold to tourists and business people who traveled the highway between Tucson and Ajo. Goldie might have only learned that a quilt buyer was a teacher from California, or a collector from New York. As a result, the whereabouts of many Goldie's quilts are unknown.

Goldie did leave vague descriptions of several of her lost appliqué quilts:

  • One quilt was stitched with designs of O'odham baskets and pottery.
  • Another quilt, titled "The Rodeo," depicted bucking broncos, roping, and other events that would take place at a rodeo. This quilt was sold to a teacher in Tucson for $250.
  • And another pictorial quilt called "Fruit Time" was appliquéd with the cactus plants and desert animals found in the Sonoran desert. This quilt was sold for $500.
  • A doctor's wife in Sells bought at least two of her quilts, and several friends in Ajo and Phoenix were given quilts

Because Goldie's quilts were so dramatic and unique-most won blue ribbons at the Arizona State Fair-it is likely that they were cared for and treasured by their new owners. These would not be quilts used as everyday bedcovers or picnic spreads! It is hoped that as more people learn of Goldie's amazing life and her remarkable stitching talents, more of her quilts will be located and documented.

prizewinning quilt
Quilt by Goldie Richmond, Papago Arts & Crafts Exhibit, Papago Rodeo, Sells, Arizona, 1959. Courtesy of Bernard Fontana.

If you have knowledge of Goldie's life or of her quilts please contact:

Carolyn O'Bagy Davis
P.O. Box 85787
Tucson, AZ 85754
520-622-8957

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Goldie Richmond:
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