“Shattered” a quilt by Karen Musgrave on Alzheimer’s disease.
For the past few years, a small but mighty non-profit called the Alliance for American Quilts
has been partnering with Michigan State University Museum
(MSU) and MSU’s MATRIX: Center for Humane Arts, Letters and Social Sciences Online to create a virtual museum or Quilt Index
. This online museum includes photos of over 50,000 quilts. The Alliance for American Quilts also runs a project called Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories
, transcribed interviews with quilters archived by the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
In the words of blogger Betty Londergan
“The Quilt Index allows readers to log on and see a Tennessee quilt from 1850, then zoom in and compare it, stitch by stitch, with a quilt from Massachusetts from the 1950s. It’s like unlocking the treasures of every basement, attic, museum warehouse, and hope chest – along with the hearts of each woman (or man) who stitched these quilts together.“
Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories (Q.S.O.S.)
is a grassroots project. Anyone interested in recording the stories of local quilters can get started by downloading a free manual on the Alliance for American Quilts (AAQ) website here
What’s not to love about a group that uses a seminal American Art form for storytelling and oral history?
VoiceQuilt supports the Alliance’s efforts by donating services so that quilters with work on display at the International Quilt Festival in Houston can record personal statements and comments. And we’ll be making it easy for Quilt Festival attendees to call in their impressions and reactions to quilts like these. Stay tuned!