Alan Shepard © Margaret Williams

Alan Shepard

Margaret Williams

Tucker, Georgia, USA

Artist Statement

Alan Shepard was the first American to escape earth’s atmosphere and venture into space. On May 5, 1961 a Redstone rocket launched his Freedom 7 capsule 116 miles above the earth. The flight lasted all of 15 minutes.

Ten years later, as the commander of the Apollo 14 mission, he became the oldest man, and the only one of the original Mercury Seven astronauts, to walk on the moon. Throughout his career, he carried the spirit of those early astronauts with him, which is why you can find a representation of them on the quilt if you look closely, along with the symbol of the Mercury program.

The quilt’s “moon” has been represented as a golf ball. Two golf balls are still there today, left by Shepard when he became the only person to hit a golf ball on the moon, using a 6 iron club head attached to the end of a rock-collecting tool.

Alan Shepard lived his life right in the middle of one of the most memorable periods of history. Intelligent and determined, he was a gifted pilot who brought a human touch to the American space program.


Raw-edge fused mosaic enhanced with thread, paint, and ink; thread-painted (Mercury symbol) applique created on water-soluble stabilizer; organza overlay, free-motion quilting


Commercial cotton fabrics; cotton, poly, rayon, and metallic threads; textile paints; textile inks; golf ball photo (taken by me) printed on organza