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Acadian Odyssey Quilt

Acadian Odyssey Acadie to Nouvelle

"Acadie Acadian Odyssey – Acadie to Nouvelle Acadie” is a commemorative quilt designed, appliquéd, pieced, and quilted by members of the Quilters’ Guild Acadienne. It depicts the saga of the Acadian exiles who were dispersed from their New World homeland of Acadie (modern day Nova Scotia) to North America, Europe, and the Caribbean. After years of wandering, the exiles found a new home in South Louisiana. The Acadian Odyssey Quilt depicts their odyssey through a series of quilted panels.

About the panels:

  • The top panel, Le Grand Dérangement (The Expulsion), portrays the exile of the Acadians from Nova Scotia by the British in 1755. [Noemie Chaney Charleville, Edna Turler Guilbeau, Kathleen Stevenson]

  • The center map-shaped panel, La Louisiane (Louisiana), shows the original area in South Louisiana, la nouvelle Acadie, settled by the Acadians. These prolific people have since migrated to other parts of the state taking with them the Acadian influence, an important element of Louisiana's unique culture. [Sharon Thibodeaux Miller, Rosemary Florstedt, Hazel Alleman]

  • The bottom panel, Enfin! – la nouvelle Acadie (Home at Last!), represents life in Nouvelle Acadie carved out of the land by the hard work and industry of the Acadian people. [Joan Fontenot, Marylin Morvant, Hazel Delahoussaye]

  • Panels in the center of the quilt depict various aspects of the Acadian way of life. Beginning at the upper right and proceeding clockwise the panels are as follows:

    • Fille et garçon acadiens (Acadian Boy and Girl) depicts a stereotype of the Acadians and their manner of dress that is frequently used commercially to promote various products as well as the people of Acadiana.. [Shirley Miller Borel, Betty Freeland-Salassi, Cassia Mick, Irene Foux Thompson]

    • La chasse (The Hunt) emphasizes hunting as an essential part of the Acadians' way of life, as it often provided food for the table. Over the years, hunting has become a major source of recreation. [Eleanor Bourgeois, Genevieve Bourgeois]

    • Ramasseurs de mousse espagnole (Spanish Moss Pickers) are portrayed in the next panel. The intriguing Spanish moss was a valuable resource for the Acadians. After drying, the moss was used to stuff mattresses. It was also an important ingredient in the bousillage used in the construction of homes. Later, moss was used in upholstery of buggies and early automobiles. [Phyllis Tabbert, Juanita Brasseaux Rivette]

    • Au travail (At Work) depicts various skills of the Acadians. Growing cotton, carding, spinning, weaving, and sewing provided clothing and household necessities, such as quilts, blankets, and linens. The abundant palmettos were dried and woven into hats, baskets, and mats. The Acadians used clay for pottery and bricks, and bousillage was used for construction. Many of these essential skills were passed down through generations. Today, the products and skills of Acadian craftsmen are highly prized. [Carolyn Koontz, Sherry Moore]

    • Joie de vivre (Joy of Living) showcases that the hard-working Acadians were also fun loving by depicting a typical get-together. The accordian, the fiddle and the ’ti-fer were commonly found at dances held in the home, the barn, or sometimes in a yard. Entire families attended, and as the day came to an end, young children and infants were put to sleep on pallets or blankets. From this custom evolved the term “fais-dodo.” [Ann Thompson, Noemie Chaney Charleville, Judy St. Amand]

    • Dimanche matin (Sunday Morning) shows the deep religious faith of the Acadians. Churches were among the first public buildings, and Acadian parents were extremely proud to have a son or daughter enter religious life. [Hazel DeRoussel Alleman, Wilda Hebert Pepper]

    • Jeux d’enfants (Children at Play) shows the ingenuity of the children in finding amusement, a reflection of the industry of their parents. [Carole Gaubert]


Design Art Work: Reta Riddling

Assembly and Sandwiching by KOA Quilters:

Hazel DeRoussel Alleman, Wilda Hebert Pepper, Edna Turler Guilbeau, Buttons Adamson, Nancy Hoffman Short, Cassia Mick, Genevieve Bourgeois, Mary Toce, Rosemary Florstedt, Cindy Colvin, Kathleen Stevenson


Irene Hargrave Guidry, Joyce Palumbo Breaux, Mary LeBlanc Briganti, Evelyn Stermon Comeaux, Janette Murphy Mestayer, Debbie DeRouen Perron, Bonnie Broussard Robin, Rosemary Perkins Chapman, Suzanne Pesson Martin Bourgeois

Binding: Margaret David

Hanging Sleeve: Edna Mae Savant

Commemorative Quilt Committee:

Noemie Chaney Charleville, Reta Riddling, Genevieve Bourgeois, Cindy Colvin, Debbie Perron

Label: John Guidry

See this quilt on display at the Acadian Memorial Museam in St. Martinville, LA

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