~ one hundred and fifty years of shared tradition ~

Quilts have long been descriptive symbols of America. The people, places, and ideas from which they come and for what they represent are commonly placed on American beds and walls and also prominently displayed in museum shows and art collections. At first glance, American quilts seem to either be traditionally European designed or wild, mis-matched patchwork patterns thrown together with whatever cloth was left over in the scrap pile. At first glance they seem to be either useful household items or prized museum relics. At first glance they seem to be static representations of the woman and the era in which they were made. Yet Southern American quilts communicate a bond between African American and European American women and traditions, as well as a role within society, that often goes overlooked and unappreciated. The following project is a look at the Southern quilting tradition as it has evolved over the last one hundred and fifty years both in terms of the physical patterns and quilts produced and in terms of the role quilting represents in America. The project includes a description of European and African quilting traditions and their contributions to Southern quilting, a look at seven individual women and their personal quilting traditions, and a selective "archive" of the American literary works which center around the role of American quilts. Continue to the Table of Contents to learn more about Southern Quilting.....

Table of Contents