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One Quilt: Many Amazing Voices

From “Folklife in Louisiana” website. “Quilting bees are a traditional setting for women to swap stories. Here Doris Ellzey, Dovie Flores, Opal Clower, and Ivy Solis, also known as the Los Adais Quilters, demonstrate their skills at the Sabine Parish Fair, September 18, 1990.” Author: Susan Roach. Photo: Dayna Lee.

The photo at right, taken by Dayna Lee on September 18, 1990, accompanied an article by Linda Roach for the 1992 Louisiana Folklife Festival booklet. Roach is Director of the School of Literature and Language at Louisiana Tech University and director of the Louisiana Quilt Documentation project.

It’s been almost thirty years since this photo was taken, and group quilting is still practiced and enjoyed amongst today’s quilters. In many ways, the notion and practice has expanded. Quilters can now toggle between working virtually through online communities and coming together in person for collaboration, classes or shows. At the 2014 International Quilt Festival, the Quilt Alliance documented seven members of such a group called the Amazing Eight.

The friends, who hail from Mississippi, Texas, Missouri, Iowa, Ohio, Illinois and Minnesota, met via a popular community forum hosted by The Quilt Show.com. In 2009, the group of virtual friends made plans to meet in person at Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas. At the show they met for dinner and enthusiastically started discussing the idea of making a quilt together. Inspired by that first dinner gathering, the group made two collaborative quilts. In 2014, their third collaborative quilt, “Amazing Aztec–Nicolor Dream Quilt” won first place in the Group Quilt category in the Quilts: A World of Beauty Judged Show at Quilt Festival.

Seven members of the group shared their story about the quilt at Quilt Festival by recording a Go Tell It at the Quilt Show! video: Karen Fitzpatrick, Mary Holman, Wanda Myers, Cindy Neville, Carol Moellers, Dana Lynch and Mary Kay Runyan. (The eighth Amazing member is Bridget Lilja.)

We’re proud to capture the stories of quilt makers and quilt lovers where they gather through the Go Tell It! project. We encourage everyone with a quilt to document, preserve and share the story of that quilt before it fades away. Instructions for making your own DIY Go Tell It! video can be found on our website here.

Click on thumbnails below to view each video.

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