Bishop Bailey's quilt on display at Bishop Jones Center

A commemorative quilt that once had pride of place in Bishop Scott Field and Evelyn Bailey’s home is now in the Bishop Jones Center in San Antonio. Scott Field Bailey served as the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas from 1977 to 1987. As a surprise gift from the women of the diocese upon his retirement, Bishop Bailey received a quilt with each square representing a parish or mission church in the diocese. 

bailey-quilt-outsidebjc.jpgMaterials to make the quilt squares were sent to every church in the diocese, and the squares were so identified and embellished with embroidery. The quilt was long the Baileys’ prized possession and remained with Evelyn Bailey until her death. In the spring of 2016, the Baileys’ daughters, Sarah Bailey Fitzsimons and Lou Bailey Taylor, presented the quilt to the Bishop Jones Center, the offices of the Diocese of West Texas.  

Joyce Griffin remembered that when she joined the diocesan staff as director of Camps and Conferences in 1978, the Women of the Diocese as an organization had disintegrated in the light of the women’s liberation movement. Women had gained status in the church, yet still could not serve on vestries or be ordained as clergy. But the need to revive the women’s organization was strongly felt and had been recently reorganized.

The quilt project as a celebration of Bishop Bailey’s episcopate was also a manifestation of the role of women in the church and of the renewed appreciation of quilting as an art form.

bailey-quilt-quote.jpgEmbroidered on the quilt:

"To the Rt. Rev. and Mrs. Scott Field Bailey on the occasion of their retirement and in honor of their unselfish service. With gratitude and love from the Women of the Diocese of West Texas. January 8, 1987."

Written by Mary Carolyn Hollers George; photographs by Daniel Hendrickson and Magdalena Crittenden.