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Books about quilts and the women who make them

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A Piece of My Soul book coverA Piece of My Soul: Quilts by Black Arkansans
This is a  thoroughly researched book documenting the work done by black quilters in the State Museum of Arkansas.  Recommended reading for students of Black History, southern popular culture, and the needlecraft arts, A Piece Of My Soul explains the quilt's uses, materials, and construction, as well as what each piece featured says about the needlecraft artist and her beliefs.  Click on the title for more information.
African American Quiltmaking in Michigan

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Bed and Breakfast Quilts: With Rise and Shine Recipes

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Black ThreadsBlack Threads: An African American Quilting Sourcebook by Kyra Hicks and Cuesta Benberry. One million African Americans spend approximately $118 million annually on quilting. Some believe that recent studies of oral histories telling of the role quilting played in the Underground Railroad have inspired African Americans to take up their fabric and needles, but whatever the reason, quilters like Faith Ringgold, Clementine Hunter, Winnie McQueen, and many others are keeping the African American traditions of quilting alive. This is the first comprehensive guide to African American quilt history and contemporary practices. It offers over 1,700 bibliographic references, many of them annotated, covering exhibit catalogs, books, newspapers, magazines, dissertations, films, novels, poetry, speeches, works of art, advertisements, patterns, greeting cards, auction results, ephemeral items, and online resources on African American quilting. The book also includes primary research done by the author on the Internet usage of African American quilters, a listing of over 100 museums with African American–made quilts in their permanent collections, a directory of African American quilting groups in 29 states, and a detailed timeline that covers 200 years of African American quilting and needle arts events.  Click on the title for more information.

click on the title to orderHawaiian Quilt Masterpieces

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Jacobean Rhapsodies: Composing With 28 Applique Designs  

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Martha Mitchell of Possum Walk book CoverMartha Mitchell of Possum Walk Road: Texas Quiltmaker

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quiltsofgeesbend.jpg (47391 bytes)The Quilts of Gee's Bend
Since the 19th century, the women of Gee’s Bend in southern Alabama have created stunning, vibrant quilts. Beautifully illustrated with 110 color illustrations, The Quilts of Gee’s Bend includes a historical overview of the two hundred years of extraordinary quilt-making in this African-American community, its people, and their art-making tradition. This book is being released in conjunction with a national exhibition tour including The Museum of Fine Art, Houston, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.  Click on the title for more information. 

Quilts: The Fabric of Friendship (Schiffer Book for Designers and Collectors,)

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Signs and Symbols: African Images in African American Quilts (2nd Edition)  

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Stitched from the Soul 
This richly illustrated book offers a glimpse into the lives and creativity of African American quilters during the era of slavery. Originally published in 1989, Stitched from the Soul was the first book to examine the history of quilting in the enslaved community and to place slave-made quilts into historical and cultural context. It remains a beautiful and moving tribute to an African American tradition.

Undertaking a national search to locate slave-crafted textiles, Gladys-Marie Fry uncovered a treasure trove of pieces. The 123 color and black and white photographs featured here highlight many of the finest and most interesting examples of the quilts, woven coverlets, counterpanes, rag rugs, and crocheted artifacts attributed to slave women and men. In a new preface, Fry reflects on the inspiration behind her original research--the desire to learn more about her enslaved great-great-grandmother, a skilled seamstress--and on the deep and often emotional chords the book has struck among readers bonded by an interest in African American artistry. Click on the title for more information.

Symbols of Faith Quilt Blocks

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Threading The Generations: A Mississippi Family's Quilt Legacy
threadinggenerations.jpg (102892 bytes)Threading the Generations: A Mississippi Family's Quilt Legacy tells the story of the Shaifer family, beginning with Abram Keller Shaifer who came down the Natchez Trace in 1813 and settled in Port Gibson. The book skillfully connects the family's history with the quilts from 1813 to the present. Not just a quilt book, however, it is also about family struggles and achievements, relationships, and life as it was lived by thousands of southerners during such difficult times as the Civil War and Reconstruction.  Research provides ties between generations of women who not only shared a love of one another but also a love of quilting. The legacy they have left will live on as a testament to their creativity, artistic abilities, and strong sense of family.  Click on the title to order. 

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