The more I learn about my craft, the more it becomes obvious to me that knowing quilt history is crucial. In addition to the story the maker has when they put it together the first time, I also believe every quilt has a life and story of their own once they are “released into the wild”. To use an archaeological term, they have become part of the material record for a culture. While modern quilters tend to think inside a modern quilting bubble, I think we miss out when we ignore the sheer vastness of knowledge and quilting that is out there to explore.
Why Quilts Matter is a series hosted by Shelly Zegart, a leading expert in quilts and their history over the last 30 years and . Her passion for quilts and their importance for us today is evident in everything she does, and she is also co-founder of The Kentucky Quilt Project, Inc. and The Alliance for American Quilts. I really encourage you to go to those links and spend some time browsing, or better yet, get the DVD (through the sites I linked to or check your local library, where I found mine). In particular, Why Quilts Matter will be at QuiltCon and will have a booth, documenting the stories of the people there, their work, their quilts, and their joy in the art and craft of making them. If you’re going, maybe give some thought about what you would say about your quilt, and what you might wish people knew about it. This is part of your and my cultural history. Hope to see you there!
Bill Volckening provided the image for this quilt, which is featured in “Why Quilts Matter, History Art & Politics” and is part of his collection. To see what else interests him, go visit his blog at Wonkyworld.