Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

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Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart (September 6, 1950 - present) sews her prayers and ideas into her quilts. Quilting is one way that she deals with her illness, a condition similar to lupus, by interpreting her hopes and dreams for an afterlife into fabric. Stewart has travelled to France and Australia, among other places, with the exhibitions in which her quilts are shown. [1] Kathy Desmond, a former art teacher at Ohio State Newark, is credited as Stewart’s mentor, while her husband, Ken, serves as a travelling companion and co-teacher at the classes they teach together. [2]



  1. Joe Williams Jr., “A Journey in cloth: Ancient symbols, including goddesses and animals, help create what Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart calls prayer pages, or affirmation quilts,” Newark Advocate (Newark, OH), March 17, 1997.
  2. Sue Sowards, “Artist’s mantra: Despite illness, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart, brings new life to work, art,” Newark Advocate (Newark, OH), Jan. 21, 2004.