With Needle and Thread: A Book About Quilts

Overview

In years past, quilting has served as a means of both artistic statement and social protest for those who had no other avenue of expression. Today, the craft not only survives but thrives as new quilters add their own innovations to the patterns of the past. Here is a respectful look at the past and present of this vital, homegrown art form.

Examines quilts and quiltmaking as an artistic expression, handed down through generations ...

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Overview

In years past, quilting has served as a means of both artistic statement and social protest for those who had no other avenue of expression. Today, the craft not only survives but thrives as new quilters add their own innovations to the patterns of the past. Here is a respectful look at the past and present of this vital, homegrown art form.

Examines quilts and quiltmaking as an artistic expression, handed down through generations of women.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The narrative is accessibly simple, the photography clear and colorful, and a bibliography will guide researching students to other sources of information." The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6From the warmth they provided settlers in drafty sod houses to the recognition they have generated for victims of AIDS, quilts have played a dependable and sometimes inspiring role in American history. Bial's well-crafted introduction explains how, in addition to its practical applications, the craft has been an important means of artistic and political expression for women. The book explains how patterns and techniques are continually evolving as they are influenced by economic conditions, new technology, and the many cultural groups who bring their own traditions to the United States. African American, Amish, and Hmong quilts are highlighted. Vivid, full-color and black-and-white photographs of quilts and quilters are clearly captioned, and carefully placed to correspond to the text. Share this title with students working on women's history projects. And for those who enjoy quilting, it will add another dimension to a favorite hobby.Kristin Lott, East Brunswick Public Library, NJ
Hazel Rochman
With quiet prose and clear, lovely full-color photographs, Bial has stitched together a "sampler" about people and the quilts they sew. Square in design, with lots of white space and thick, high-quality paper, the photo-essay connects the folk tradition of quilting with a dynamic contemporary art form. Bial outlines the main techniques, styles, and stages of quiltmaking, both by individuals and by groups. He begins with the roots of the craft in ancient times but turns quickly to the work of different communities in this country, from Appalachia to the frontier, from various African American styles to the work of recent Hmong immigrants. Bial's focus is on social history, on how this laborious folk art began as an economic necessity for those who couldn't afford to waste a single scrap of fabric and how it gave ordinary women a rare opportunity to express themselves and to enjoy a social life. He also shows that the AIDS Memorial Quilt is part of a long tradition of quiltmaking as social and political expression. Bial provides a bibliography but no direct citations for what people say about their work.
Kirkus Reviews
One version of women's history, as it has been written into the tiny stitches of quilts.

Bial (Portrait of a Farm Family, 1995, etc.) uses the practical craft of quilting as a piecemeal source to rediscover women's heritage, finding that the patterns and fabrics used in patchwork quilts often provide clues to their creators or surrounding circumstances. A friendship quilt, for instance, was signed by all the quilters and given as a remembrance. Pieced quilts made by pioneers, or by women during the Depression, emphasize the scarcity of fabric; they relied on dress scraps, flour sacks, and even tobacco premiums for cloth. African-American and Amish cultures are cited for their unique contributions to the tradition. There are full-color photographs of quilters and the various steps of their craft (explained briefly in the text), along with pictures as bright as stained glass of the quilts themselves. While some quotes are included, many of them hint at longer stories; readers will be awaiting anecdotes or recountings of family history that never come. Otherwise, this is a good companion both to how-to volumes and books on women's history.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395735688
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 3/28/1996
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.13 (d)

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