Everyday Use: Alice Walker
Christian, Barbara T Rutgers University Press, 1994 Library of Congress PS3573.A425E9 1994 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
Alice Walker's early story, "Everyday Use," has remained a cornerstone of her work. Her use of quilting as a metaphor for the creative legacy that African Americans inherited from their maternal ancestors changed the way we define art, women's culture, and African American lives. By putting African American women's voices at the center of the narrative for the first time, "Everyday Use" anticipated the focus of an entire generation of black women writers.
This casebook includes an introduction by the editor, a chronology of Walker's life, an authoritative text of "Everyday Use" and of "In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens," an interview with Walker, six critical essays, and a bibliography. The contributors are Charlotte Pierce-Baker, Houston A. Baker, Jr., Thadious M. Davis, Margot Anne Kelley, John O'Brien, Elaine Showalter, and Mary Helen Washington.
Extensively illustrated, with over 100 drawings and 11 unique Mary Schafer patterns, Mary Schafer, American Quilt Maker is a must-have book for anyone passionate about American quilting.
While we take that passion for granted today, author Gwen Marston shows that it wasn't always so; indeed, one woman, Mary Schafer, was largely responsible for the restoration of interest in one of our greatest folk arts -- long before the American bicentennial turned quilting into what seemed like an overnight sensation.
Marston presents Schafer as an unassuming scholar: the anonymous quilter, remaining humble and somewhat retiring. Behind the modest façade, however, Schafer displayed a remarkable devotion to research, historical accuracy, and community through her efforts to make quilting available to as many people as possible.
Nonquilters will find Mary Schafer, American Quilt Maker a welcome addition to their collection of the work of masters of American folk art, while quilting aficionados will appreciate it not only for the story it tells, but for the generous selection of patterns and illustrations it offers.
Gwen Marston is a nationally known quilt maker, teacher, and author. She is the author of over fifteen books on quilting, including Liberated String Quilts, 70 Classic Quilting Patterns, and Amish Quilting Patterns.
Traditional quilts serve many purposes over the course of a useful life. Beginning as a beautiful bed covering, a quilt may later function as a ground cover at picnics until years of wear relegate it to someone's ragbag for scrap uses.
Observing this life cycle led authors John Forrest and Deborah Blincoe to the idea that quilts, like living things, have a natural history that can be studied scientifically. They explore that natural history through an examination of the taxonomy, morphology, behavior, and ecology of quilts in their native environment—the homes of humans who make, use, keep, and bestow them.
The taxonomy proposed by Forrest and Blincoe is rooted in the mechanics of replicating quilts so that it can be used to understand evolutionary and genetic relationships between quilt types. The morphology section anatomizes normal and abnormal physical features of quilts, while the section on conception and birth in the life cycle discusses how the underlying processes of replication intersect with environmental factors to produce tangible objects.
This methodology is applicable to many kinds of crafts and will be of wide interest to students of folklore, anthropology, and art history. Case studies of traditional quilts and their makers in the Catskills and Appalachia add a warm, human dimension to the book.
Frugal, thrifty, enduring, colorful, comforting, warm. These words capture both the spirit of Iowa quilters through the centuries and the fabrics they stitched together. In Patchwork, Jacqueline Schmeal celebrates the lives of Iowa quilters and the enduring beauty of historic Iowa quilts.
Drawing on written records by and interviews with contemporary quilters, many of whom were born in the early years of the twentieth century, Schmeal presents the life histories of these hard-working yet inspired artists. Sisters Elsie Ball and Mary Ball Jay of Fairfield—charging one and a quarter cents per yard of thread—kept meticulous records of each of the 135 quilts they stitched between 1935 and 1970. Ivan Johnson plowed his fields by day and quilted vivid designs by night. Cloth scraps were so precious to Barbara Chupp, an Amish quilter, that she became known for her mosaic piecing. Members of the Sunshine Circle, organized in 1912 in a Quaker church in Earlham, still quilt together today. Mennonite quilter Sara Miller became famous nationwide for her fabric store, Kalona Kountry Kreations. Their stories—of impoverished childhoods, hardscrabble work, and strong families—are enhanced by over seventy color photographs of an unbelievably rich collection of historic quilts ranging from the early 1800s to the 1950s.
Offering both a glimpse into the daily lives of twentieth-century quiltmakers and an amazing treasury of Iowa's historic quilts, Patchwork is a loving tribute to the creative spirit that links modern-day quilters to the patterns and traditions of their predecessors.
The gnarled branches of a beautiful old plum tree reach toward the sky. A mushroom hunter searches for morels among rolling hills. A small boat is tossed among the tumultuous waves of an angry sea. Striding Lines, an homage to Wisconsin artist and quilter Rumi O'Brien, presents these striking images of her work and many more, accompanied by descriptions that share the stories of each piece in the artist's own words. Each quilt represents a moment, often autobiographical, crafted with whimsy, revealing an inspired talent.
Bobbie Malone reaches beyond the quilts to tell O'Brien's own story, from her initial foray into the quilting world to her developed dedication to the craft. Contributions from leaders in the art, textile and quilting community, including Melanie Herzog and Marin Hanson, contextualize O'Brien's work in the greater community of quiltmakers and artists. This book celebrates the life and ingenuity of a Japanese-born American immigrant whose oeuvre is equally Japanese and Wisconsinite—and entirely distinctive.