Watch live: 'Human Resilience in Troubling Times: Stories from an Alabama Quilter' with Sylvia G. Stephens

Published: April 22, 2020

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Sylvia G. Stephens will discuss stories of human resilience told through quilts in a free, live broadcast at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28. Join the broadcast live from Pebble Hill in Auburn from a computer or mobile device at

A fourth-generation quilter, Stephens was taught to sew by her mother as a young child using the family’s Singer treadle sewing machine. A graduate of Auburn University and Troy University, Stephens served as a commissioned officer in the United States Air Force and retired following her final duty assignment at the Pentagon.

During a 2001 National Endowment for the Arts ceremony where her mother, Mozell S. Benson, was honored as a National Heritage Fellow for quilting, Stephens realized that she had never made a quilt and later asked her mother to teach her. Stephens started quilting as an apprentice to her mother in 2005 and finished her first bed-sized quilt as part of the Alabama State Council on the Arts Folk Arts Apprenticeship Program.

As an apprentice quilter and Alabama Community Scholar for the Alabama Folklife Association, Stephens documented her mother’s traditional quilting style and has taught others to make quilts using her mother’s technique. Since becoming a Certified and Trained Sewing Instructor, she has taught the frugal, efficient and liberating Mozell Benson “7-Step Easy Improvisational Quilting Technique©” to novice and experienced quilters.

Auburn University is currently working under an alternate operations model, so attendance is only available online. For more information, email or call 334-844-4903.

Submitted by: Maiben Beard