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Stitched from the Soul: Slave Quilts from the Antebellum South Paperback – September 30, 2002

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Stitched from the Soul: Slave Quilts from the Antebellum South + Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Offers an unusual glimpse into the creativity of slaves." -- Publishers Weekly

Review

Stitched from the Soul is an interesting study showing how African culture influenced American quilting as well as commenting on the life of the slave.--Library Journal

|Includes many illustrations of surviving slave-made quilts, some utilitarian and others wonderful examples of the seamstress's art.--Washington Post Book World

|Offers an unusual glimpse into the creativity of slaves.--Publishers Weekly

|A richly illustrated collection of needlework by African-American slave women.--Chicago Sun-Times

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; 2 edition (September 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807849952
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807849958
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By C. Boykin on August 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
A most spellbinding read! The arthor writes of the quilting parties between the plantations where the slaves, and sometimes the Mistress (slaveowner) helped to make quilts and or provided material/remnants, so every slave had a quilt for the winter. They were allowed to cook at theses parties in the main kitchen, slaveowner providing the food. I was so enthralled with this book I was motivated to use the arthor's description of slave quilting to create a few miniature quilts, when possible using the same fabrics, for a project. I was fortunate to attend one of her lectures.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By gi on May 27, 2015
Format: Paperback
The author writes that she "began with the idea that perhaps enough slave-made quilts and other artifacts existed to tell a story, and then, scrap by scrap, collected historical data and artifacts...to piece together a finished product that sheds new light on the meaning of quilts in the lives of slave men and women." Unfortunately, Dr. Fry failed in achieving her objective. Anyone wishing to understand African-American quilts should be forewarned: they will not find it here.

Dr. Fry's failure is rooted in a gullability that is shocking in one who holds a doctoral degree and has taught in a university. In this work, she ignores the most basic rudiments of scholarship. She accepts as fact hear-say evidence and the unsupported statements of former slaves recorded in the WPA records. While she says that she "made an effort to corroborate information obtained from each source by confirming it against other sources of information," it appears to have been a feeble effort at best.

For instance, the dates she assigns to the quilts she identifies as made by enslaved African-Americans are generally incorrect, often by a century or more (see, e.g., pages18-19, 40-41 47-48, passim). A scholar who had no knowledge of textiles necessarily required the expertise of authorities in historic textiles to date the quilts and thus corroborate the oral recollection. She also needed to consult authorities knowledgeable in the history of American quiltmaking, who have documented the evolution of quilt patterns, threads and fabrics, and traditions. That would have saved her from such glaring errors in dating quilts (e.g., figures 53-61) that give the lie to the stories she attaches to them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Quilt Maven on December 6, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent book. The history in this book is fantastic. This is not a pattern book....unless you draw your own. I have one of these ib my library and have purchased a second one for our Guild Library.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By arlouine m conrad on April 5, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The crazy quilt research I am doing, It helped a lot. There was much information about time spans, the materials used at that time.
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Such a great book. more history for me to devour. Once you start, you can't finish. Read about the Gees Bend Quilters, too. Seller was great and fast delivery.
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Format: Paperback
This book gives credit to the creative and exceptional skills of the slaves in an area where their contribution has mostly been ignored.
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