Heroines Quilt III

This quilt is in honor of girls and their heroines everywhere. 

Every even year, we celebrate Women’s History Month by inviting submissions of girlhood heroines for our 31 Heroines of March project. 

Each day, a new heroine is featured on our blog with an image and short essay. Our goal is to create a virtual Heroines Quilt made up of our contributors’ stories. Here is Phase III of our virtual Heroines Quilt for 2014.  

Thank you to all who submitted this year. And special thanks to Katie Weidmann, who has wrangled everything into a beautiful presentation.

You can scroll through the Quilt in order or select random pictures to reveal the story behind the heroine—the choice is yours, so enjoy and be inspired!

 

Fautima

Her parents left their native country hoping for a better future. So did my parents. She is the first in her family to attain a higher education. So am I. As children of immigrants, it was difficult learning English as a second language but hard work and dedication...

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Kirsty MacColl

Kirsty MacColl has been my heroine since I was nine years old and went rifling through my mum's tape collection for something to put in my Walkman. I was a painfully shy, yet fiercely independent child (there’s a photo of me somewhere aged about three where I’ve...

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Mother

So ask me who my girlhood heroine is? I thought that it would be a simple answer, but there were so many! As a young Pacific island female there are no shortages of strong female role models. But I think you can never get past the first female that you will meet in...

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Greenie

My mother had a brilliant mind, a love of weather, meatballs and Lladro and a deep interest in others. She was equal parts irreverent, empathic and efficient. Her smile could light up a small Balkan state. She got shit done. Be it a rectal exam, a fiery fish fry or...

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Hillary Clinton

  I first learned of and saw Hillary Clinton when I was sixteen years old. I went with my mother and friends to a rally¬†where Bill Clinton and Al Gore were speaking, and both their wives were present. She spoke that day and had such a command and presence that I was...

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Myrtle Sleyer

One of the most influential women in my life has been my grandmother–Myrtle Sleyer. Myrtle was the central person around who the family revolved and she was a big part of my daily life. She was there for all our special celebrations like birthdays and Christmas, and...

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Isobel Morgan

Mrs Isobel Morgan was the heroine of my girlhood. A sole parent, she raised her daughter and a magnificent garden of flowers and vegetables at 160 Vigor Brown Street, Napier, and taught primary school full-time. Hugely interested in music, art, different cultures and...

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The Baby-Sitters Club

My girlhood heroines were the girls of The Baby-Sitters Club - Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, Stacey, Dawn, Mallory and Jessi. These girls taught me about growing up, responsibility, diversity and accepting others for who they were. Stacey's diabetes taught me that some...

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Val Hook

My great aunt, Valmai Hook (known as Aunty Val to practically everyone), was my childhood heroine. Born the year the Titanic went down, Aunty Val was an intelligent, no nonsense woman; a book lover and superb cross-stitcher with a twinkle of humour in her bright blue...

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Tinkerbell

She's tiny, can fly, and if gifted with a little sprinkling of her pixie dust, you can join her on an adventure to Neverland–the mischievous, fun-loving fairy Tinkerbell was one of my childhood heroines. Girls can do anything, and this little fairy holds down a...

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Madonna

Ok, I’m a woman who grew up in the 80s, and yes, my first music purchase was Like a Virgin on vinyl. Being the museum obsessed person that I am, I still have her records and tapes in my collection. I recall many hours listening to Madonna, learning all her lyrics...

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Lady Jane Grey

Lady Jane Grey (1536/7 - 1554), great-niece to Henry VIII, was named as heir to the throne by the devoutly Protestant teenage King Edward VI on his deathbed, as an attempt to thwart the succession of Catholic Mary Tudor. Aged just 16, she ruled for only 9 days, until...

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Diana Ross

When I was a little girl growing up in suburban Ohio, everything was very …umm, boring. But one day I heard Diana Ross and the Supremes on the radio and it changed my life. I loved her voice and the music in a way that I hadn’t really experienced before. I guess...

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Linda Blake

"Training, sharing knowledge, helping others grow through learning, is the theme of my life." My herione is woman who had an huge influence in my life as a young adult. I met Linda when I was 15 on my first overnight tramp in Fiordland. I learnt how to tramp...

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Toni Morrison

Beloved changed the way I read and experienced novels. It changed the way I looked at history, both popular and academic. While great books had always been food for my growing mind, the way Toni Morrison wrote, her use of the language, her vocabulary, her turn of...

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Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz

As we grow up, we keep our childhood heroines–but we also gain new ones. My newest is Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz, a character from a TV show, The Big Bang Theory. Bernadette is an amazing woman to look up to. She holds a doctorate in microbiology and works a...

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Lisa Frank

I admit it, as a young girl, I was interested in things like fuzzy velvet posters, stickers, and wanted colorful binders with rainbows and ponies that I could get lost in while I was at school. Now, thinking back at my earliest artistic influences, Lisa Frank played a...

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Gwen Stefani

My girlhood heroine was Gwen Stefani. She was such a powerful voice in such a masculine music scene–skater/ska-punk was heavily dominated by all-male bands like Sublime and The Offspring; it was good to see a girl not only holding her own, but bringing the house...

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Sailor Moon

When I delve into the snapshots of my girlhood–particularly of instrumental female ‘heroines,’ one name in particular trails these memories like a shadow. Did you ever meet her? Her name is Sailor Moon, the secret identity of Serena Tsukino and leader of the...

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Amelia Peabody Emerson

For as long as I can remember I've been fascinated by Egyptology. My parents had a calendar from the 1970s traveling King Tut exhibition, and when I wasn't looking at that, I would tag along with my father to the library, where he'd drop me in the ancient Egypt...

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Female Tennis Players

My heroine is in fact a culmination of many, or more specifically, any female tennis player who has achieved top ten status over the years. I have always had an interest in Wikipedia biographies and when a player was in the media for playing a great match I would jump...

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Cherry Ames

When I was around 10 years old, my grandmother, a Registered Nurse, introduced me to the Cherry Ames books. Written and set in and and after World War II, Cherry was a small-town midwestern girl who decided to become a nurse in order to aid the war effort. She was...

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Hannah Tzenesh

Growing up in a household of Holocaust survivors with a frail mother and a devout grandmother, I was taught obedience, encouraged to be ambitious, and admonished by fear. Stultified by the recitation of their nightmarish horrors and overcome by feelings of suffocating...

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Dorothy Hodgkin

The first time I saw Dorothy Hodgkin’s name was in a chemistry textbook, talking about her work on the structure of insulin. It was one of the first things that interested me in structural biology. The more I learnt about structural biology the more I found out that...

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Athena

According to the most common origin myth of the Greek goddess Athena, she did not have a girlhood of her own. Instead, she was born, fully grown, from the head of her father Zeus, after Zeus had swallowed her mother, Metis. This was a bit different than my own...

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Dervla Murphy

By the time I was introduced to Dervla Murphy through her book, One Foot in Laos, she was already an established dame of adventure cycle touring. Here was an Irish woman who had spent the best part of 40 years writing about her journeys–often by bicycle or by foot,...

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Grandma Ruth

My girlhood heroine is a relative who was not related to me by blood. Grandma Ruth “adopted” me when my dad painted her porch one summer. Winning me over with a wind-up toy clown, she took me in as one of her own grandchildren, despite having no legal or blood...

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Clare Jackson

As I thought about who to write about for this year’s Heroine Quilt, I realised that throughout my childhood there was one person who I followed and listened to, without hesitation: my sister. This wasn’t always smart. I once followed her as she jumped into the...

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Siouxsie Sioux

Music always played a leading part in my life. Even from the very start it was loud and clear that my listening focused on particular kinds and waves. By the mid 80s post-punk music was at its peak, so it came as no surprise when I tuned in. Although the punk idols...

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Laura Ingalls Wilder

My love for historical fiction started when I was in elementary school. Some of my favorite books were the Little House series. I loved reading all of the stories about Laura and her family as she grew up in the Big Woods, on the Prairie, on the Banks of Plum Creek,...

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Hillary Clinton

As a young American woman growing up with an interest in politics, there were far fewer female politicians I could look to as role models. Thankfully, Hillary Clinton made up in quality for what the United States political landscape lacked in quantity. She is tough,...

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Shirley Temple

‘On the Good Ship Lollipop’ and ‘Animal Crackers in My Soup’ were the big hits. I had her albums and would play them over and over again. My grandfather recorded me as a 3 year old singing these songs, forgetting the lyrics here and there, but still powering...

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