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1.6 Million African American Quilters: Survey, Sites, and a Half-Dozen Art Quilt Blocks Paperback – October 1, 2010
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About the Author
Kyra E. Hicks is a marketing professional and quilter. She was so mesmerized after seeing Eva Ungar Grudin's 1990 exhibition, "Stitching Memories: African-American Story Quilts," that she began to teach herself to create her own quilts. "I found my voice that afternoon in the museum," she remembers. Today, Kyra's quilts have been included in more than forty exhibitions in venues such as the American Craft Museum in New York, the Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum in Hartford. She hosts the African American quilting news blog, Black Threads.(BlackThreads.blogspot.com).
Top customer reviews
The book, '1.6 Million African American Quilters' presents the African American tradition of quilting as well as current trends. Compiling the many sources of books, articles and some exhibition catalogs as well as the ability to view the websites of quilter's and textile artists', Ms. Hicks has outdone herself. This book proves to be a worthwhile investment. Now, whenever I embark upon my exploration of African American Quilts, I am sure to have a much easier time of it. Here, the information is well organized and thoroughly listed in this book.
If you have ever sought to be familiar with the history, study and preservation of African American quilters, I recommend the listing of African American Quilt dissertations, theses and papers, having over 30 specific people and institutes to get you started, you can immediately put this book to work for you. Not to mention the film and video cataloging -- an excellent resource for classrooms, guilds and personal interest.
My takeaway from this slim wonder is that there are a lot of black folks out here contributing a LOT of dollars to the quilting, fabric, and sewing industries in this country. Clearly sisters (and a few brothers) got the memo that "she who dies with the most fabric wins" but I don't think they're leaving those bundles to collect dust. They're turning them into art.
The book is barely 62 pages but she covers a ton of information such as how many quilters are there? Where do they live? Are they "dedicated quilters" or otherwise? Quilting in America defines "dedicated quilters" as those who spend more than $600/yr on quilt-related purchases. That's $50/month, every month. These women are serious.
She gives websites, videos, interviews, groups...this tiny book is bursting with information. I don't know how she did it! There are even half a dozen quilt blocks and a bibliography for those who need more.
This really is an amazing little book and I don't think any quilter should be without it, regardless of what color you are. Ms. Hicks is a quilter, but she's also a writer. I can tell you this book is a very happy marriage of her two loves.
Highly recommended. Not to be missed.
Although it seems easy to find information on the Internet, it really helps to have someone do the legwork for you. She has done her usual thorough job, and provides links to lots of important groups and resources. This reference booklet will be very useful to future historians and researchers in the fields of quilt/textile history as well as women's art.
It's also a useful guide to anyone looking to make connections with African American quilt artists to make sure they are represented in art and quilt shows, as well as in the growing number of books published on the topic.
Finally, for African American quilters--traditional quilters and artquilters--this book will provide a way to get and stay connected to each other.
One comment--in addition to the resources that Kyra identified, there are several active groups on the Yahoogroups listserves. A search by topic (African American quilters) should turn many of them up.