A Book Guaranteed to Tug at the Heartstrings

Painting an exquisite picture of the events that transpired in the mid-twentieth century, Phyllis Lawson transports her readers into a world where black people lived and died at the hands of social injustice. 

Quilt of Souls is a work of genius guaranteed to tug at the heartstrings. Discover more details about this critically acclaimed book and get to know the author who made us see how our lives are all woven together like the pieces of clothing in a tattered quilt.

About Phyllis Lawson

Phyllis was born in Detroit, Michigan, but was sent to the tiny town of Livingston, Alabama at the age of four. Her grandmother Lula Horn (1883-1986), who happened to be a quilter, raised her. Lula made beautiful quilts out of the clothing of her loved ones.

Each strip of fabric tells the story of the wearer’s life and death. Lula shared those mostly tragic and sometimes witty tales with little Phyllis as she sewed their clothes into a quilt that threaded broken lives back together. Through her book, Phyllis shares these profound stories with the world as her grandmother told them to her.

Professional Background

As Part of the Military

Phyllis joined the US Air Force after graduating from high school. One of the first female B-52 mechanics, she served one tour and left the service in 1978. She used her military educational benefits to attend the University of Maryland, receiving a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Sociology and Social Work.  

Following a 17-year break in 2002, Phyllis returned to the military as a member of the US Army National Guard and Active Duty Service, retiring from the US Army in 2013. She was one of only a handful of women in the military who served in three major military conflicts including the Vietnam Era, where she served three temporary duty assignments to Vietnam before the 1975 fall of Saigon.  

She was also deployed to Saudi Arabia as a member of Operation Desert Storm and in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in December 2003. In turn, she received three military campaign medals for assignments where she served to support the US Armed Services in armed conflict.

This includes a US Army Expeditionary, Global War on Terrorism, and a host of other Army and Air Force medals for superior performance in the line of duty.

As a Counselor

She spent 20 years working as a counselor for incarcerated youth, women who were victims of domestic violence, and youth and adults suffering from alcohol or substance abuse. She spent three years in the United States Army Reserves.  

As the Author of Quilt of Souls

After retiring from the military, Phyllis spent the following two years completing her memoir Quilt of Souls, which was released March 13, 2015. Since its release, this poignant memoir has garnered a great deal of buzz from social, print, and television media.


Quilt of Souls is consistently viral on Facebook.  As a result of the popularity of her memoir, she has been interviewed and has appeared in over 40 different media outlets including internet blog talks, online newspapers, social media forums, television, radio, and media advertisements. 

Below is a partial list of her accomplishments: 

Quilt of Souls was "required reading" reading for first and second year English students at Palm Beach State College, FL. for Fall and Spring 2017

Keynote Speaker for the first National African American Quilt Conference, Lawrence, Kansas,  2017

Quilt of Souls is in circulation in over forty Public Libraries throughout the United States and Canada

Ms. Lawson has completed speaking engagements for some of the largest quilting organizations in the country, including Quilters of Color Network of New York City, and Tidewater Quilting Club, in Virginia 2016-2017

Guest speaker for Solivita Retirement Community, consisting of over 10,000 residents,  April 2017

  • PBS Interview With Nancy Zieman in April 28, 2016 (Airing on October 2016)
  • Guest Speaker at Texas A&M University Women on Women Symposium (March 30 2016)
  • Appeared on NBC Affiliate KBTX, College Station, Texas (March 29, 2016)
  • Guest Speaker for One Hundred Black Men of Tallahassee ”We are One”, Diversity and Inclusion Forum; VIP guest for the Black Tie Gala (June 2016 and 2017)
  • Hosted at the City of Mission Viejo and the Orange County, California Genealogical Association, an Honor Given Only to New York Times Best Selling Authors (June 2016)  
  • Quilt of Souls Was Placed on the Reader’s List of the Alabama Writer’s Guild/Club (February 2016)
  • Chapter One of Quilt of Souls Was Included in a Book of Anthology of Writers From Around the World. Stories Compiled by Frank Joussein of Germany (Book to Be Released Later This Year)
  • Guest Speaker for the South Genealogical Society Annual Conference (July 15, 2016) 

Interview on WLTX 19 TV in Columbia, South Carolina Where She Will Discuss Quilt of Souls

  • Interviewed by Award-Winning Journalist Dan Rodricks of the Baltimore Sun Newspaper. Podcast Aired December 17 Nationwide (December 5, 2015)
  • Achieved a 5-Star Gold Seal From Prestigious Book Reviewer; Readers Favorite (November 11, 2015)
  • Interviewed by Mother Love Rogers on Los Angeles, Talk Radio (December 2015)
  • Live Radio Broadcast With Talktainment Radio Hosted by Yolanda Robinson (August 2015)
  • Featured Speaker at the Renowned Pratt Library, Baltimore, Maryland for the Brown Lecture Series. Presentation Recorded for the Library Podcast and Added to Their Lecture Series Collection
  • Live Sirius XM 128 Radio Interview; Urban Talk Radio With Show Host Maggie Linton (March 2015)
  • Newspaper Special Feature Interview With the Laurel Leader, Mississippi (October 2015)
  • Appearance on WDAM Television Hattiesburg, MS to Kick Off Author Tour; Featured on The Noon Show (October 2015)
  • Guest on The National Archives and Beyond Internet Radio Talk Show Hosted by Bernice Bennett; Discussed the Importance of Documenting Family History (November 2015)
  • Quilt of Souls Received a Five Star Book Review on the Highly Viewed Women for One Online Magazine (May 2015)
  • Featured Story and Book Review by Shenoba Kinsey for the Chicago Scene Magazine (June 2015)
  • Since October 2015, Ms. Lawson Has Had Over 72 Public Appearances in Support of Her Memoir Quilt of Souls at Public Libraries, Book Clubs, High Schools, Quilting Guilds, and Genealogical Societies
  • Ms. Lawson Has an Overall Five-Star Rating on Amazon Including over 185 Five Star Reviews; She Also Has an Overall Five-Star Review on Amazon Europe

Ask Phyllis Anything!

Phyllis Lawson currently resides in Viera-Suntree, Florida. She has two sons and seven granddaughters. If you want to ask her anything, please don't hesitate to get in touch with her in Melbourne, Florida.