Connecting Communities with Quilts
Quilting bees, stitch-ins, and sewing circles have long been community gatherings. In the spirit of our “All Together Now” Summer Reading challenge, join us to explore quilting and other textile arts this summer. Events include collaborative art installations at several locations, a documentary screening, presentations from area quilters, and a lecture on Virginia Quilt Trails. Read on for more information about how you can connect with your community through quilting at the library this summer, and for book recommendations related to quilting and textiles.
- Our Connecting Communities with Quilts program will be happening at several libraries!
- In this featured Summer Reading event, you are invited to design a paper "quilt" block to add to our collaborative quilt-inspired project. Make a square to take home and another to share in the library display. Information on the history and art of quilt making, instructions, and craft materials will be available to inspire creativity during this drop-in style program. Following the program, materials will be available onsite while supplies last. Express yourself, connect with your community, and together we will watch our quilt grow.
- Monday, July 17, 12PM at North Park Library
- Tuesday, July 18, 11AM at Fairfield Library
- Wednesday, July 19, 11AM at Twin Hickory Library
- Thursday, July 20, 11AM at Tuckahoe Library
- Thursday, July 27, 4PM at Varina Library
- Tuesday, August 1, 2PM at Libbie Mill Library
- Craft in America Documentary: Quilts
- Wednesday, July 19, 10AM at Twin Hickory Library
- American quilters share their work and inspiration in the PBS documentary- Craft in America: Quilts(2019, NR, 56 min.). This film includes the work of textile artists Susan Hudson, Victoria Findlay Wolfe, Michael A. Cummings, and Judith Content, plus interviews with staff from the International Quilt Museum, and special guest star Ken Burns. Immediately following the screening, we will create paper "quilt" squares to add to our "Connecting Communities with Quilts at Twin Hickory" project.
- Quilting All Together Now with Kuumba Afrikan American Quilting Guild
- Saturday July 22 and 29, 10AM – 2PM at Varina Library
- The Kuumba Afrikan American Quilting Guild leads this two-part quilting workshop. Guild members will introduce the history of quilts, the basics of sewing machine use, and guide participants through making a take-home jelly roll fabric project. This program is suitable for beginners. All materials and instruction will be provided. Registered participants should plan to attend both workshops.
- Quilt Trails of Virginia
- Thursday, July 27, 3PM at Varina Library
- Tuesday, August 1, 6PM at Libbie Mill Library
- Explore the recent appearance of colorful squares and diamonds on barns and homes across the country and learn about the barn quilt trail movement. Examples from Virginia will be highlighted including the first established quilt trail (Highlands County), the longest trail (Greene County), and several others. Information will be available to help plan your own tour of the quilt trails in our home state.
- Story Quilts with Denise Lowe Walters
- Saturday, August 5, 2PM at Tuckahoe Library
- Story quilt artist, scientist, and Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia Council Chair Dr. Denise Walters will present her multimedia story quilts. These works illustrate tribal history and culture and reflect the artist's passion for science and the environment. Walters' work has recently been displayed at the Chrysler Museum of Art, Jamestown Settlement, Peninsula Fine Arts Center, and Gallery 5 in Richmond, VA. Walters' original works will be on view in the library during the program. This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Library.
If you can’t make it to one of our programs, you can still learn about the rich history of quilts and the textile arts from some of these fantastic books in our collection.
Quilts are artworks representative of the communities in which they were made. Historically, a quilt would often begin its life as something else, whether that was clothing, bed sheets, or spun fiber from an animal’s coat. These books are about textiles, fabric, and how our history is intrinsically linked to their production:
- This Long Thread: Women of Color on Craft, Community, and Connection by Jen Hewitt
- Worn: A People's History of Clothing by Sofi Thanhauser
- Resilient Stitch: Wellbeing and Connection in Textile Art by Claire Wellesley-Smith
- Unravelling Women's Art: Creators, Rebels & Innovators in Textile Arts by P. L. Henderson
- Indigo: The Colour that Changed the World by Catherine Legrand
- Africa in Fashion: Luxury, Craft and Textile Heritage by Ken Kweku Nimo
- Patterns of India: A Journey Through Colors, Textiles & the Vibrancy of Rajasthan by Christine Chitnis
- Textile Designs: Two Hundred Years of European and American Patterns for Printed Fabrics Organized by Motif, Style, Color, Layout, and Period by Susan Meller
While all quilts bring us warmth – many are also exquisite works of art. Here are some books about specific quilts and quilters who have been recognized for their artistic vision and message to the world:
- Faith Ringgold: American People by Faith Ringgold
- Quilting: Poems, 1987-1990 by Lucille Clifton
- An American Quilt: Unfolding a Story of Family and Slavery by Rachel May
- Hidden Treasures, Quilts from 1600 to 1860: Rarely Seen Pre-Civil War Textiles from the Poos Collection by Lori Lee Triplett
- Unconventional & Unexpected: American Quilts Below the Radar 1950-2000 by Roderick Kiracofe
- Stitch by Stitch: Cleve Jones and the AIDS Memorial Quilt by Rob Sanders
- The Quilts of Gee's Bend by Susan Goldman Rubin
- Spirits of the Cloth: Contemporary African-American Quilts by Carolyn Mazloomi
- 500 Art Quilts: An Inspiring Collection of Contemporary Work by Ray Hemachandra
- Virginia Quilt Museum by Joan Knight
- And for an excellent listen, the podcast Haptic and Hue has an episode on the quilters of Gee’s Bend Alabama.
Now that you’re feeling inspired, learn how to quilt or master new techniques with these books:
- Community Quilts: How to Organize, Design, & Make a Group Quilt by Karol Kavaya
- Wise Craft Quilts: A Guide to Turning Beloved Fabrics into Meaningful Patchwork by Blair Stocker
- Happy Flower Quilts: 30 Colorful Quilts, Charming Bags & Cheerful Gifts by Atsuko Matsuyama
- The Quilt Block Cookbook: 50 Block Recipes, 7 Sampler Quilts, Endless Possibilities by Amy Gibson
- Quilt Your Own Adventure: Modern Quilt Blocks and Layouts to Help You Design Your Own Quilts with Confidence by Amanda Carye
- Fabric Pictures: Creating a Textile Story by Janet Bolton
- The Quilted Home Handbook: Transform Your Space with the Art of Quilting by Wendy Chow
- Modern Quilt Bible: Over 100 Techniques and Design Ideas for the Modern Quilter by Elizabeth Betts
- The Art of Mixing Textiles in Quilts: 14 Projects Using Wool, Silk, Cotton & Home Decor Fabrics by Lynn Schmitt
- The Anniversary Sampler Quilt: 40 Traditional Blocks, 7 Keepsake Settings by Donna Lynn Thomas
- No Scrap Left Behind: 16 Quilt Projects that Celebrate Scraps of All Sizes by Amanda Jean Nyberg
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