Born in Ezel, KY, Joanne Carr DeWitt attended a United Presbyterian Parochial school and graduated from Berea College in 1954 with a degree in English. She then taught school for 30 years in both Scott and Owen counties and later for 10 years at the Lexington Community College.
In a rural Ezel (Morgan County) KY, many older people quilted and the women in the local Presbyterian Church Missionary Society made quilts for fundraisers. Joanne’s mother made many quilts and inspired Joanne to learn. It was only after Joanne retired from teaching and lost her mother that she began to quilt again, creating gifts for family
When Joanne’s husband became ill, she began doing smaller sized quilts, finding that she could hold them in her lap as she sat near his bed. She began marketing these smaller quilts about 12 years ago, with help from her daughter, a county extension agent.
One of Joanne’s most popular pieces are made with the ‘Kentucky Star’ pattern. This pattern was first published in 1907 in a magazine called ‘Hearth and Home.’ The star is created using diamonds and triangles to form the quilt block and although Joanne can’t remember when she first saw this pattern, it is now her most requested pattern.
Joanne’s work can also be found at Kentucky History Center, Frankfort; My Old Kentucky Home State Park, Bardstown; Lincoln Museum, Hodgenville, KY; Completely Kentucky, Glendale; General Butler State Park, Carrolton.