Black Diaspora Quilt History Project

Olivia “Liv” Furman, Ph. D. (they/them) is a Black non-binary womanist artist//educator//researcher currently working on the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary Lands of the Anishinaabeg – the Three Fires Confederacy of Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi peoples at MSU. Their work currently explores the significance of embodied knowledges, memory, storytelling, and the arts in practices of teaching, learning, self-healing, and self-expression. Each piece they create artfully stories the fluidity and intimate complexities of their identities, difficult emotions, memories, and interactions with other people and/or artifacts. In this process of piecing together they utilize digital and textile materials, including collected/recycled paper, personal photos, ceramics, poetry, symbols, quotes, and other materials to make meaning, to share stories, and to heal. Their primary mediums include multimedia and digital collage, ceramics, quilting, and the written and spoken word. Liv is also an avid gardener, singer, and practicing musician.

Ethnic background/tribal affiliation:

Black, African American

Where did the quiltmaker grow up?


How did the quiltmaker learn to quilt?

From relative

When did the quiltmaker learn to quilt?

Age 11-19

Why does/did the quiltmaker quilt:

Gifts, Income, Necessity, Pleasure, Therapy

Other reasons the quiltmaker makes/made quilts.

I learned to quilt from my grandmother, Mary Frances Furman. I started quilting more as I got older. I began by making quilts as gifts for friends and loved ones. Later I began making them as a form of self-expression, and during my doctoral studies I began integrating my quilt praxis into my research.

Estimate the number of quilts made by this maker:

5-20 quilts

Does/did the quiltmaker sell quilts?


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