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Soft Covers for Hard Times: Quiltmaking and the Great Depression Hardcover – July 1, 1990


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Rutledge Hill (July 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558530622
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558530621
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #599,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Merikay Waldvogel was born in St. Louis, MO. She studied languages in college and taught ESL in Chicago before moving to Knoxville, TN in the late 1970s. Her first book "Quilts of Tennessee" resulted from the state quilt survey she and Bets Ramsey conducted in the 1980s. Her next books "Soft Covers for Hard Times" and "Patchwork Souvenirs of the 1933 Chicago World's Fair" focused on quiltmaking in the Great Depression in the USA. "Childhood Treasures: Quilts Made By and For Children" is her latest. In 2009, she was inducted into the Quilters Hall of Fame.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 63 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 4, 1999
Format: Hardcover
A warm, engaging book by a serious quilt historian. The photos are great. What's intriguing is the author's theme of how the quilts of the American depression were often anything but somber -- there was great beauty, joy, and exuberance in the designs.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By gi on July 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Be advised: the over-all rating given this book by Amazon is deceptive. The single review of the print copy has a five-star rank, which the book deserves. The review of the Kindle version expresses the reader's experience with a far-different book - one with black-and-white photographs. In books like this, as in all art books, color is integral to understanding, a Siamese twin to the author's text.

That is particularly true with "Soft Covers for Hard Times." In this book Ms. Waldvogel chronicles a remarkable phenomenon - a radical shift in the deeply conservative tradition of quiltmaking in the era of the Great Depression, one that involved a burst of new patterns and also a burst of new, softer, pastel colors.

The book addresses two questions - Why were Depression-era quilts generally "pretty" and why were they so similar all across America?

On her way to answering these questions, the author discovers some things that have interest to economists, psychologists, historians, and the general public. For in an era of great economic gloom and stagnation there arose a thriving new industry - one that involved all aspects of the quiltmaking process from the production of fabric, threads, and quilt batting to the publication of new patterns marketed through magazines, booklets, and newspapers. Even the manufacturers of agricultural feed and the sundry makers of sugar, rice, and other commodities sought to gain from the renewed interest in quiltmaking, packing their products in cotton sacks printed in colors and designs similar to those produced by textile mills and popular with quiltmakers. And helping to fuel this new industry were a number of women pattern makers, whose names became household words.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Diane Middleton VINE VOICE on September 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an enjoyable book for those interested in history as it relates to the family issues of the Depression years. There are many interesting stories of the quilt makers themselves with beautiful color plates and clear enough detailed illustrations that a quiltmaker could use them for inspiration or make a reasonable facsimile of any of them. It covers the years 1925 to 1945 and gives a interesting insite into the lean Depression years and the shortages of the War years.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although, the book was excellent and in perfect condition, it did not have the information I was looking for. Because I could only get a limited description of its content, I had to hope that I would find what I was lookinf for inside.
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By Sunshine on October 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is another wonderful book that sometimes sends chills through my body. To read how our ancestors were so strong and filled with faith and the promise of tomorrow was quite a lesson!
Thank you!
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