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West Virginia Quilts: And Quiltmakers Paperback – November 1, 2000

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This work is the culmination of a ten-year project undertaken by quilt historian Valentine and the West Virginia Heritage Quilt Search to document quilts made in West Virginia before 1940. Thousands of people brought their family heirloom quilts to regional sites, where the quilts were measured and photographed. Offered here are 159 color photographs of quilts, with small maps showing the county in which they were made. Detailed and thoughtful essays describe the artistic composition and fabric selection of each textile masterpiece. Often a photograph of the quiltmaker is included. Not just a survey, this oral history offers a unique social perspective on domestic life. An analysis of more than 4000 quilts and a verity of appendixes further the academic usefulness of this title. Recommended for both popular and academic quilt collections in all types of libraries. Judith Yankielun Lind, Roseland Free P.L., NJ Crafts By Constance Ashmore Fairchild, formerly with Univ. of Illinois Libs., Urbana
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"Combines a historian's passion for accuracy, an artist's eye for beauty, and a storyteller's gift of phrasing."

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 303 pages
  • Publisher: Ohio University Press (November 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0821413406
  • ISBN-13: 978-0821413401
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #995,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Ricky Clark on April 27, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is a marvelous book. Readers in other states will come away from it with new or changed views of West Virginia and its history. Author Fawn Valentine recognizes quilts as historic documents and is most persuasive in explaining and using material culture methodology to prove this. Yes, West Virginia quilters live primarily in rural areas, and many needed quilts as warm bedcovers. However, they also produced elegant silk quilts as examples of fine, decorative needlework.
As a quilt researcher in the adjacent state of Ohio I am fascinated by the similarities and differences between quilts in our two states, and Valentine's convincing explanations for them. Most of the quilts documented by the West Virginia Heritage Quilt Search-even the oldest ones-were found near the places where they were made. The reason, she explains, is that West Virginians didn't move around much; they love place and family. They also had a strong desire to maintain traditional skills, which are "family ways."
Some quilt patterns were found only in discrete regions of West Virginia. Others (crazy quilts, for instance) continued to be made much later than was true in other states. Through extensive interviews with quiltmakers, the WVHQS learned of quilt pattern names and quilt-related language not found elsewhere. Through their oral interviews they also learned of a system of "barter economy" West Virginia quiltmakers used.
Most intriguing is Valentine's discovery of different quilting style, aesthetics, and designs associated with the quiltmakers' ethnic backgrounds: German-American, British, Scotch-Irish and Welsh. She presents this information early in the book, preparing the reader to recognize and identify the ethnicity of quiltmakers whose work is included later.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Virginia S. Houchins on November 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
Written with sensitivity to the quilt and the quiltmaker, exploring not only what inspired the art form but the necessity of the art form. A real sense of understanding both the textile and history of the textile emerges as one explores the lives of the women who quilted for both pleasure and need. This is a must have book for the person who wants to understand history and art form and the production of textile and how it relates to the finished product, as well as the importance the quilt played in the the lives of the women who made them. A valuabe addition to any libary.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Serene Night on April 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
West Virginia quilts documents quilts from the 40's and older, and the lives of those who created them. I picked up a copy of this book at the library and was quite fascinated by the beautiful quilts and the history surrounding them (a young 23 year old married a 79 year old and had several children, can you imagine?). The pictures are interesting and the stories fascinating. I particularly appreciated the absence of modern quilts as I'm not a fan of modern art style and the overuse of batiks. This is a wonderful book for fans of quilting and those who love quilt history.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book provides a wonderful history of quilting and quiltmakers and is also inspirational for quilt design ideas. It is well-written and engaging, making a quilt documentation project very interesting to others. I highly recommend this book and it makes a perfect gift for any quilters.
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