On this day in 1996, American daytime talk show host Oprah Winfrey launched her television book club. Oprah’s Book Club surprised the publishing world that did not anticipate the “Oprah effect,” the entertainer’s ability to promote and sell products she recommended on her show. Many of her picks reached over 1 million copies sold.

The Quilting Queens, a group made up of volunteers at the Hurricane Relief Center in Minden, Louisiana, made this portrait quilt for Oprah Winfrey to thank her for the donations she made to rescue workers during the 2005 storms. The quilt was made from leftover clothing donated to the relief center. The group chose purple clothing in reference to Oprah’s role in the movie The Color Purple. Local third-grade students helped to piece the quilt, and local artist Larry Milford designed and executed the center portrait of Oprah. This quilt’s history is preserved thanks to the Louisiana Quilt Documentation Project.

View this quilt on The Quilt Index to read more about its history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view.

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Amy Milne headshot

Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance