Quilt Alliance – Document, Preserve, Share

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The mission of the Quilt Alliance is to Document, Preserve, Share . . . and their motto is, “We’re saving your place in quilt history.”  So . . . what is the Quilt Alliance and what does it mean to you?

In 1993, recognizing the need to centralize information about quilts and quiltmaking, four women joined forces to create Quilt Alliance. Their mission is to inform, educate and connect people everywhere with America’s rich quilt heritage.

The Alliance founders gathered a distinguished group of quilt scholars, artists, experts and enthusiasts to develop a vision for gathering the great body of information about quilts and quiltmakers.  They document and preserve the history, the art, the people and the culture surrounding American quilts.

To make this work accessible to teachers, enthusiasts and historians — the variety of Quilt Alliance projects are ongoing and ever-changing. For example:

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Maybe you own a quilt treasure like this, but what is the story?  Who made it?  Was it your Great-Grandmother?  Who was she?  Who did she make the quilt for?  Could the next generation figure it out?

Maybe you own a quilt treasure like this, but what is the story? Who made it? Was it your Great-Grandmother? Who was she? Who did she make the quilt for? Could the next generation figure it out?

Quilters’ S.O.S. is a key element of the Quilt Alliance. They created a downloadable manual so that anybody can conduct an interview and make the transcription available at the Library of Congress American Folklife Center.  Hundreds of interviews are archived at the Center, where they are available for research. Click HERE for more information.

00aGTIlogo_800pixwideGo Tell It at the Quilt Show! — A new oral history project designed to capture the stories of quilts where quiltmakers gather. The formula for Go Tell It! is  simple:  one person talking about one quilt in front of one video camera for three minutes.

Label your quilts!

Label your quilts!

Unlike our Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories project where the interviewee must be a quiltmaker, the Go Tell It! interviewee profile is much broader.

00TheQuiltIndex_LogoAThe Quilt Index is an on-line repository where tradition meets technology head-on, allowing you to use your computer to see and study more than 54,000 quilts from four centuries. This archive is unique:  nowhere else can a journalist, researcher or quilt enthusiast have access to so much information about American quilts.


 

In a recent post on the Quilt Alliance blog, Amy E. Milne, Executive Director of the Quilt Alliance, shared the history of this 1886 Crazy Quilt. This is a good example of how the Quilt Index documents American quilts.

00Quilt_IndexSue Dee Grainger Brown of Houston, Texas made this stunning hand pieced, embroidered and embellished Crazy Quilt in 1886. The Quilt Index record states, “Family history on this quilt states that it won first prize at the St. Louis World’s Fair.” Brown’s family members documented the quilt during the Texas Quilt Search. The quilt is included in the book Lone Stars: A Legacy of Texas Quilts, Vol. I, 1836-1936, by Karoline Patterson Bresenhan and Nancy O’Bryant Puentes (Austin: University of Texas Press) and was included in an exhibition by the same name in the Texas State Capitol Rotunda, Austin, Texas, April 19-21, 1986.

View this quilt on The Quilt Index:

http://www.quiltindex.org/basicdisplay.php?kid=4F-88-FB

Read about its history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view or click the “See full record” link.


 

Jodie Davis

Jodie Davis

Mark Lipinski

Mark Lipinski

World class quilter, Jodie Davis, is on the board of the Quilt Alliance, and her hope is that you will be inspired to tell your own quilt story . . .  NOW, while the information is still available.  Jodie says,  “American quiltmakers were anonymous and unacknowledged.  Our mission is to document the history of American quilts.  If you have a quilt in your family, do the interview — Share Your Story.  Who made the quilt? How was it passed down in your family? What is the meaning from the maker to the receiver?”

Mark Lipinski is also on the board of directors — and his message is, “Please, please, please — label your quilts. Quiltmakers do not understand the power of their own artistry.  If you label your quilt, it can be passed down from generation to generation — and your story will live.”

What’s the Quilt Alliance message? Label your quilts! Look for our in-depth interview with Mark Lipinski in the coming weeks.  You might be surprised by where he thinks American quilting is heading.  You can always count on Mark to bring a very different point of view.

www.QuiltAlliance.org

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