West Virginia Quilts and Quiltmakers: Echoes from the Hills

Overview


Tucked away in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia, preserved for generations, handmade bed quilts are windows into the past. In 1983, three West Virginia county extension agents discussed the need to locate and document their state's historic quilts. Mary Nell Godbey, Margaret Meador, and Mary Lou Schmidt joined with other concerned women to found the West Virginia Heritage Quilt Search.

The search focused on documenting quilts made in West Virginia before 1940, which ...

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Overview


Tucked away in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia, preserved for generations, handmade bed quilts are windows into the past. In 1983, three West Virginia county extension agents discussed the need to locate and document their state's historic quilts. Mary Nell Godbey, Margaret Meador, and Mary Lou Schmidt joined with other concerned women to found the West Virginia Heritage Quilt Search.

The search focused on documenting quilts made in West Virginia before 1940, which marked the end of a fertile period in American quilt history and the beginning of a decline in quiltmaking that would continue until the 1970s. Ultimately, the search registered more than 4,000 quilts.

This effort has culminated in West Virginia Quilts and Quiltmakers: Echoes from the Hills, published by Ohio University Press on November 1, 2000, in association with the West Virginia Heritage Quilt Search, Inc. The book includes 159 color photographs of selected quilts, with maps showing where they were made, a database analysis of the statewide survey, and the oral histories of descendants of quiltmakers.

“Quilts warm the body and the soul,” says Valentine. “A quilt can wrap the psyche in a loving embrace. Family quilts are symbols of bloodlines reaching across decades and generations.”

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Detailed and thoughtful essays describe the artistic composition and fabric selection of each textile masterpiece. Often a photograph of the quiltmaker is included. Not just a survey, this oral history offers a unique social perspective on domestic life. An analysis of more than 4,000 quilts and a verity of appendixes further the academic usefulness of this title. Recommended for both popular and academic quilt collections in all types of libraries."

-- Library Journal

"The concept for this collection began with ten women who united with a common interest in making sure their state's legacy of quiltmaking was preserved. It designates fabrics used (from lavish to recycled), pictures quilt blocks chosen, denotes sewing techniques, indicates cultural influences, and offers original Scotch-Irish designs. The book took ten years to complete and contains information regarding 4,000 quilts made before 1940."

-- The Quilting Quarterly

Library Journal
This work is the culmination of a ten-year project undertaken by quilt historian Valentine and the West Virginia Heritage Quilt Search to document quilts made in West Virginia before 1940. Thousands of people brought their family heirloom quilts to regional sites, where the quilts were measured and photographed. Offered here are 159 color photographs of quilts, with small maps showing the county in which they were made. Detailed and thoughtful essays describe the artistic composition and fabric selection of each textile masterpiece. Often a photograph of the quiltmaker is included. Not just a survey, this oral history offers a unique social perspective on domestic life. An analysis of more than 4000 quilts and a verity of appendixes further the academic usefulness of this title. Recommended for both popular and academic quilt collections in all types of libraries. Judith Yankielun Lind, Roseland Free P.L., NJ Crafts By Constance Ashmore Fairchild, formerly with Univ. of Illinois Libs., Urbana Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
Valentine, involved in a project to seek out, document, and help preserve West Virginia quilts, presents a fabulously beautiful collection of quilts created prior to 1940. Coverage of each work includes a map showing the county in which it was created, its maker, the date it was finished, its pattern, and a lively description of the quilt's composition, including patterns, fabrics, and techniques employed and its relationship to other quilts of the same era. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780821413395
  • Publisher: Ohio University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2000
  • Pages: 303
  • Product dimensions: 8.81 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Meet the Author


Fawn Valentine has written and lectured extensively on quilts and quiltmaking. She lives in rural Monroe County, West Virginia.
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