She Speaks to My Heart and Soul: Maya Angelou © Diane Dresdner

She Speaks to My Heart and Soul: Maya Angelou

Diane Dresdner

Chantilly, Virginia, USA

Artist Statement

Dr. Maya Angelou was a fascinating, intelligent, inspiring, multi-talented woman. The more I learned about her, the more my admiration and respect for her grew. As I read her memoirs and researched about her, I gained a greater understanding of not only Dr. Angelou, but myself and the world around me as well. I am changed. It was an honor for me to create this quilt.

How does any one person achieve so much in a single lifetime? I found it difficult to limit myself in what to include in this quilt. I decided to represent as many aspects of her life and achievements as I could. I also included parts of her life that resonated with my own.

I make textile art because I enjoy the freedom of creating in a variety of ways and combining different types of materials. By experimenting and trying new things, I can either get just the look I want or unexpected surprises. Either way, I am always learning and (usually) having a lot of fun. In my head, there are many ideas of what I would like to try. I have had to tell myself to slow down, pick two or three for each quilt and if you live to be 1000, you should come close to finishing.

Woman’s Groundbreaking Accomplishment

World renowned author, poet, and educator. First African American Woman to recite her work at a Presidential Inauguration. Recipient of over 50 Honorary Doctorate Degrees.


Machine applique’, fusing, machine quilting, hand embroidery


My hand dyed cotton and silk. Commercial cottons and polyesters. Cowry shells, African beads, wooden sculpture. Paint markers, colored pencils, oil paint sticks.

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