I heard from Meg Cox of the Alliance for American Quilts this week, letting me know about their Save Our Stories (SOS) program. If you enjoyed looking up the history of different quilts last week, you'll love browsing through this site! This oral history program is archiving (at the Library of Congress) recorded interviews telling the stories of quilters. The website has written transcriptions of over 1,000 interviews with all types of quilters. Honestly, I can get lost in reading the histories of these men and women!
A couple of examples:
An interview with Dena Crain, a quilter from Kenyan, can be found here. Ms. Crain explains how she uses events in both her personal life and the world in creating her African quilts. She has several different series. Her "Terminal - Smoking May Be Hazardous" quilt tells the emotional story of her mother's passing from lung cancer and now hangs in the oncology department of the hospital where her mother died.
I love pieced star quilts and am going to have to get one going soon! In the meantime, read about Betty Boehm's (age 80 at the time of the interview) first quilt she made here. She was 11 years old and pieced the Texas Star design from scraps of fabric leftover from the dresses made for her and her sister. Her story of what quilting has meant to her throughout her life and how she passed the art down to her daughter and granddaughter is fascinating.
Anyone can get involved and submit recorded interviews by following the instructions on the website here. Do you have a neighbor, grandmother/father, great-grandmother/father, ... someone who has a quilt with a history or who is a quilter with a story that needs to be saved for posterity?
Happy Creating! Deborah