“A 2010 Quilting in America survey, conducted by TNS Global Inc., indicated that quilting is now a $3.6 billion industry, with upwards of 21 million quilters active in the U.S. alone.”—The Wall Street Journal Online, March 19, 2011
I have the pleasure of belonging to an online quilt group of fellow fabric hoarders, hmm, rather, collectors, called Fabricaholics Anonymous. The members are a wealth of inspiration, encouragement, and often share sites that may slip by the rest of us. One of those reading suggestions came from a member in Washington State, who suggested that anyone near New York City might want to take in a significant quilt display at the American Folk Art Museum there this month, “Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts”. Drawn from one private collection, it includes over 600 red and white quilts, presented in a modern gallery experience. I wish I could go, as the thought of seeing that number of privately owned quilts in one spot is pretty amazing.
Quilts, quilters, and the quilting industry make news stories quite often in the United States. Local media covers guild shows, quilt conventions offer opportunity for interviews with quilt and fabric designers, and donations of charity quilts all get coverage on a regular basis. On occasion, however, something unusual catches my eye.
Last year, during a major quilting convention in Iowa, the Des Moines Quilters Guild organized the Touch Quilt Tour, a special exhibit allowing blind people to touch and experience many quilts, and discuss them with the quiltmakers. Follow that link to see a local TV station’s video coverage of hits unique event.
If you are not yet familiar with The Quilt Index, I hope you will take some time to check it out. Their information pages tell us that, “The Quilt Index represents years of research and development to bring together quilt information in a centralized online tool for education, research, and public access. The Quilt Index is a joint project of The Alliance for American Quilts, MATRIX: The Center for Humane Arts, Letters and Social Sciences Online at Michigan State University and the Michigan State University Museum.” Anyone interested in quilts or quilting will enjoy browsing their galleries and reading their essays. In February they announced a nifty new offering, the Quilt Index to Go, an app for iPhone, iPads, and other devices. It includes quilts from over 20 museums, and a large collection of block patterns.
Another site suggestion from friends at Fabricaholics Anonymous is the 1996 video by Gayle Thomas called Quilt. This short film features traditional quilt blocks animated and set to music, and is a delight for the quilter’s eye. Featured on the Canadian National Film Board site, it is well worth the view.
Hop over to my sidebar to find a link to Fabricaholics Anonymous, both the group and the blog ring. If you visit, be sure to tell them that The Curious Quilter sent you!
©2011, The Curious Quilter, thecuriousquilter.net, maryeoriginals.com.