The nonprofit Quilt Alliance will present its 5th biennial educational event, Not Fade Away: Sharing Quilt Stories in the Digital Age on Saturday, July 23, 2022. The half-day conference will again be held as part of the Sacred Threads Experience Weekend at the Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon, Virginia. Tickets are $35 for the program from 9am – 1pm and includes a simple breakfast, box lunch and admission to the Sacred Threads Quilts exhibition (held in the same venue). Information and registration can be found on the Sacred Threads website.

Not Fade Away 2022 attendees heard presentations by Kyra Hicks and Jess Bailey, the 2022 Ardis James QSOS Scholars. The scholars program is made possible by grants from the Robert and Ardis James Foundation to support research that draws on the rich resource of over 1,200 Quilters’ Save Our Stories interviews collected by the Alliance since 1999. Scholars use the Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories archive to produce original research in forms that interest them. Application materials for the 2023 Ardis James QSOS Scholars program will be available in late fall 2022.

Kyra E. Hicks is a self-taught, skilled crafter of original story quilts. She is also the author of Black Threads: An African American Quilting Sourcebook and This I Accomplish: Harriet Powers’ Bible Quilt and Other Pieces. She lives in Arlington, VA.

Jess Bailey is an art historian, writer, and quilter who runs the Instagram account @publiclibraryquilts. She is the author of Many Hands Make a Quilt: Short Histories of Radical Quilting.

Hicks and Bailey shared their research projects that draw on excerpts and stories from the QSOS archive of more than 1,200 oral history interviews with quiltmakers around the world. Hicks shared her zines inspired by profiles and themes from QSOS interviews as well as “how to” zine instructions. Bailey shared her project that explores themes woven between and among individual interviews, with text and audio excerpts.

The 2022 Not Fade Away program also included a screening of short “Go Tell It!” videos featuring Sacred Threads Quilts exhibiting artists. The program concluded with “Label It Before You Leave,” a call to action to attendees to attach the history of each quilt they own directly to its surface with an archival label to prevent the history of the quilt from fading away.

Sacred Threads is a biennial exhibition of quilts exploring themes of joy, inspiration, spirituality, healing, grief and peace/brotherhood. The 2022 exhibition ran from July 14-24.


Friday Night Program:

Join us for the opening night program of Not Fade Away conference for a meet and greet reception with appetizers and non-alcoholic drinks, and preview of the Sacred Threads exhibition followed by an exciting night of video previews. We’ll meet Julieanne Donofrio, director of Pieced Together, a video about Donna Sue Groves, founder of the first Quilt Barn Trail in Adams County, Ohio. Donofrio will talk about the making of the video and how she was able to gather financial support for the project. A video interview with Donna Sue Groves will be screened and Donna Sue will be available for questions via web conference. We’ll finish the night with a screening of Go Tell It at the Quilt Show! interviews with some of the artists featured in the Sacred Threads Exhibition.

Saturday Program:

Keynote Speaker: 

Marin Hanson, One Hundred Good Wishes Quilts: Commemorating and Documenting Adoptions from China


Self-Publishing for Quilters with Kyra E. Hicks
Label it. Today! with Leslie Tucker Jenison and Michele Muska
Create Your Own Adventure: Using the Q.S.O.S. Project Database with Christine Humphrey
How to Conduct Q.S.O.S. Interviews with Pauline Macaulay and Emma Parker
Untapping the records and resources of the Quilt Index with Mary Worrall.

Panel Discussion:

Using the Family Tree to Piece Together the Story of a Quilt – Gloria Comstock, Michelle Flamer, Kyra Hicks, Mary Holton Robare, Mary Worrall
Museum curators, quilt history experts and quilters with an interest in history and geneology will discuss various ways genealogy can reveal the history/provenance of a quilt (and vice versa) and the challenges in researching genealogy where quilts are concerned. This group will offer both a curator’s approach as well as an artist’s.


Keynote Speaker and QSOS interview: 

Janneken Smucker, Quilt Stories/Storied Quilts
QSOS interview with Jinny Beyer, interviewed by Jinny Beyer


Self-Publishing for Quilters with Kyra E. Hicks
Label it. Today! with Leslie Tucker Jenison and Michele Muska
Social Media for Quilters with Luana Rubin and Pat Sloan
How to Conduct Q.S.O.S. Interviews with Pauline Macaulay and Emma Parker
Taking Better Photos of your Quilts with Meg Cox

Panel Discussion: 

Patching the Holes: Curators Reveal How They Solve the Mysteries of Unlabeled Quilts and What They Wish Every Quilt Could Tell Them – Nancy Bavor, Marin Hanson, Suzanne McDowell and Mary Worrall 
Prominent textile curators will take us behind the scenes to explain the challenges of working with unlabeled quilts and unknown histories.