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Signs and Symbols: African Images in African-American Quilts Paperback – July 30, 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Studio Books (July 30, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525486143
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525486145
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 8.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,192,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Meg in Madison on January 31, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I saw the Gee's Bend exhibit and was overwhelmed by the energy, the art, and the human story in those amazing quilts. They were so different from mainstream quilts, and I wanted to find out more about African American traditions in quilting. I stumbled over Signs & Symbols at my local library and loved it. It not only has wonderful photos of quilts, but delves into the symbols and artistic structure of the quilts and how they relate to traditional African art and symbols---with plenty of photos of African textiles, amulets, etc. I'm no expert in anthropology and ethnology, but I am familiar with academic research, and I think Wahlman has presented a wealth of fascinating and compelling evidence for the relationship.

The quilts are truly stunning, the quilting (not just the piecing) shows up well in many of the photos, and dimensions are given (which I'm delighted by---I can get a feel for the measurements of the patches and blocks). This book's quilts are informing my own quilts and will be for many years. In terms of influence on my work, I put Signs & Symbols in the same category with Liberated Quiltmaking (by Gwen Marston).

Be aware, this is not a how-to book. There are no projects, and no descriptions of how to make quilts. But if you like quilt books that are filled with beautiful old quilts, and want to immerse yourself in a different and entrancing quilting tradition, you'll love this book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. Rodriquez on January 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
I started quilting about 10 years ago. I'm of American Indian ancestry. Along the years I have looked into the quilting styles of many different ethnic backgrounds: African American, Hawaiian, Japaneses (you get the idea). This is one of my favorite books. I love the visual images and details. It is a great book for academic research and for those interested in the rich history of symbolism and meaning tied to African American quilts. When I can afford a good copy it is going to be on my shelf and eventually it'll belong to my daughter (who has taken an interest in quilting/sewing).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Boykin on August 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
I own 1st and 2nd editions. Whenever I learn ( self-taught ) a new craft I search for the best of books, this is a great book on the history of African American quilting techniques. I was fortunate to attend one of the author's lectures about 20 some years ago.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By terrance bullock on January 14, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Purchased gift for an professional quliter. Wonderful Designs with historical significance. I am looking for similar type books written by the same author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sheilah The Great! on January 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this for a friend who makes quilts and she found it fascinating to learn about the signs and symbols.
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