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

4.4 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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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: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,312,845 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really like this book. The history of the time was an enjoyable read, but it was the photographs of the quilts that I really enjoyed! If you quilt and are a quilt history buff, you will probably enjoy it too. The surprise was the quilts designed after the needlework patterns so popular in the 30s. The design and end result is a rather like our newer "Pixel Quilts" that are so popular! There is a plotted color chart for one of these, and a few patterns for some of the more complicated designs in the back. The rest are readily recognizable patterns that could be easily located even today. I must say that of all the quilts the appliqued Poppy quilt on page 29 was my favorite!
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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
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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book, informative, inspiring, and well-written. Tells about several individual women who made quilts during this era, and shows a representative group of quilts, illustrating the variety of patterns, styles, and colors popular with quiltmakers. While this is NOT a book of patterns (there are many books of patterns for 1930's reproduction quilts), the book does include 4 patterns. I have checked out this book from the library several times a year for over 5 years, so I decided it was time to buy it!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Arrived quickly in excellent condition. Many thanks for this fine service.

Very interesting book by Merikay Waldvogel which I had to replace due to loss of my first edition during a recent move.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the best history book of the reason for quilting with feed sacks in the 30's, which is still being studied by today's quilters.
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