Marcia Frederick © Margo Z Ellis

Marcia Frederick

Margo Z Ellis

Key West, Florida, USA

Artist Statement

I was inspired to make a quilt to honor Marcia Frederick when I discovered the Herstory project. While I have never been much of an athlete I enjoyed participating in gym classes most when we worked on the equipment. Marcia pursued her dreams doggedly in spite of them being thwarted by political posturing that served only to damage athletes who had trained for years. Her tenacity and single mindedness is admirable.

When I began designing my quilt I pondered what Marcia meant to the project. I incorporated a globe as the centerpiece with figures take from freeware clip art and ones I drew myself around the globe. These figures are all making moves on the Uneven bars around the centerpiece of the globe. Because they needed to be small I used scraps of ultrasuede to insure the edges were smooth and clean. I searched for appropriate fabrics for the borders after hand dying the background piece. I settled on the Psychedelic Fitness by bruxamagica from Spoonflower designs as I thought it fit the theme and type of person Marcia is.

My quilting is my stress reliever hobby from my career as a teacher of elementary students with emotional and behavioral handicaps. I also use my quilting as part of projects with my students to encourage creativity. The satisfaction of producing something tangible with their hands has helped them to have more self respect and to have a lasting keepsake of their school years that they crafted.

Woman’s Groundbreaking Accomplishment

Marcia Frederick is the first woman to win a gold medal in the World Acrobatic Gymnastics Association championship besting Nadia Comaneci in 1978.


Machine applique and embroidery, machine quilting.


Hand dyed fabric, Key West Handprint fabric, ultra suede, metallic and rayon threads, spoonflower fabric