Janice Mitchell

Quilter (with the Tutwiler Quilters, Clarksdale

The Delta

Originally from Texas, Janice Mitchell moved to Clarksdale, Mississippi, in 1988 to be with her grandmother. There, she worked doing in-home care for the elderly but wanted something more, so she began to quilt in 1997.

Mitchell is a self-taught quilter. She made regular visits to her local library, devouring every magazine and manual that had to do with sewing. At first, she began to make simple shirts and dresses, but her skills grew as fast as her inspiration and soon she had a “fever” to make quilts. She got ideas for patterns from her kitchen floor and cut up cereal boxes to make templates. Then one day she heard about the Tutwiler Quilters, so she made a trip to show off her handiwork. Mitchell has been part of the group ever since.

Every order is new inspiration for Mitchell, as she takes her customer’s wishes to heart, making sure that her quilt is a heartfelt expression of fabric and thread. She says the fabric speaks to her, and that she absolutely has to quilt every day. But for her, quilting isn’t just a hobby; it’s her main source of income.

Mitchell also teaches young people, including her teenage son, how to quilt. She hopes to be an inspiration to others, although she says quilting is not for everyone. But it is a wonderfully creative outlet, and she is anxious to share what she knows. Her knowledge has come full-circle, too, for the librarians at the Clarksdale Library, where Mitchell checked out her first book on quilting, invited her to showcase her work. With this kind of appreciation and support, she is confident that she will be creating quilts for a long time to come.

Janice can be contacted at

-Amy Evans

Janice Mitchell

Quilter Janice Mitchell at her home in Clarksdale.


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