Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories (QSOS) is the largest oral history collection about quiltmakers in the world. Our archive for the original audio recordings and photographs is the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

The project was co-founded in 1999 by a dedicated group of Quilt Alliance board members and volunteers who identified an extraordinary gap in the quilt world: no one had ever created an oral-history project to capture the history, craft tradition, and personal experiences of America’s quiltmakers. They envisioned QSOS as a grassroots effort and designed the interview process in ways that would make it accessible to interviewers and quiltmakers at all skill levels and backgrounds, allowing them to explore the central question: “if this quilt could talk,” what would it say? Now, almost twenty years later, the collection includes over 1,200 recorded interviews with quiltmakers from novices to professionals.

The Quilt Alliance celebrates the twentieth anniversary of QSOS in 2019 with a whole new way to share our archive online. When the project is complete, you will be able to listen to the audio recording, read the summary and transcript and view the photos for each interview, and search or browse the entire collection.

Listen to Running Stitch, a QSOS Podcast

Running Stitch, A QSOS Podcast, is hosted by Janneken Smucker, Professor of History at West Chester University. Join us as we explore quilt stories, revealing the inner thoughts, feelings, and motivations of contemporary quiltmakers by drawing from the Quilters S.O.S. — Save Our Stories oral history project. We’ll dig into the QSOS archive to listen to excerpts from past interviews, and bring back interviewees to ask them about what they are working on and thinking about presently. Season one episodes will be released in June and July 2020.

Visit the new QSOS website

Here you can browse a sample set of 20 QSOS interviews that demonstrate the collection’s new features, such as original interview audio recordings and enhanced descriptions. Subscribe to the Quilt Alliance eNewsletter to receive updates as interviews are added to the new site.

SELECTIONS FROM QUILTERS’ S.O.S. – SAVE OUR STORIES

Read some featured interviews below. You can also search or browse the full archive of QSOS transcripts. 

QSOS with Irene Goodrich

QSOS with Irene Goodrich

Karen Musgrave (KM): This is Karen Musgrave and I am conducting a Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories interview with Irene Goodrich. Today is June 19, 2008. It is 3:25 in the afternoon. We are in Columbus, Ohio and this is a demo interview being…

QSOS with Irene Goodrich

QSOS with Irene Goodrich

Karen Musgrave (KM): This is Karen Musgrave and I am doing a Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories interview with Irene Goodrich. Today’s date is June 19, 2008. It is now 4:32 in the afternoon. We are in Columbus, Ohio at the National Quilting…

QSOS with Gwen Marston

QSOS with Gwen Marston

Note: This interview was done as part of a Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories training that took place during The Quilters Hall of Fame’s “Celebrations 2007.” Karen Musgrave (KM): This is Karen Musgrave and I am in Marion, Indiana with Gwen…

QSOS with Jean Wells Keenan

QSOS with Jean Wells Keenan

Leah Call (LC): Jean, tell us about the quilt you brought–you have on display today? Jean Wells Keenan (JK): Well, this was a quilt that I made–it took a good amount of time because I also work full time but it really relates to the palate…

QSOS with Cynthia Mumford

QSOS with Cynthia Mumford

Pam Schultz (PS): This is Pam Schultz. It’s Tuesday, May 24 [2011.] at two o’clock. I’m interviewing Cindy Mumford at the Art Center in Battle Creek. [Michigan.] This interview is being conducted for the South Central Michigan Quilters’ Save Our…

QSOS with Karen Alexander

QSOS with Karen Alexander

Amy Henderson (AH): My name is Amy Henderson and I’m conducting an interview with Karen Alexander at the American Quilt Study Group Conference at Colonial Williamsburg for the Quilters’ [S.O.S.-] Save Our Stories project on Saturday, October 13,…

QSOS with Juan Pablo

QSOS with Juan Pablo

Note: This interview with Juan Pablo happened during his school recess. Karen Musgrave (KM): This is Karen Musgrave. Today’s date is March 7, 2007. I am doing a Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories interview with Juan Pablo in Boonville,…

QSOS with Kelly Anderson

QSOS with Kelly Anderson

Karen Musgrave (KM): This is Karen Musgrave and I’m conducting a Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories interview with Kelly Anderson. Kelly is in Phoenix, Arizona, and I’m in Naperville, Illinois, so we’re conducting this interview over the…

QSOS with Terese Agnew

QSOS with Terese Agnew

Karen Musgrave (KM): This is Karen Musgrave and I am conducting a Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories interview with Terese Agnew. Due to circumstances this interview is being conducted online. I am thrilled to be interviewing her. We are…

QSOS with Adrienne Yorinks

QSOS with Adrienne Yorinks

Bernard Herman (BH): Today is November 30th. This is Bernie Herman from the Quilters’ [S.O.S.-] Save Our Stories for an interview with Adrienne Yorinks from New York City. The time is approximately 11 o’clock. Adrienne, could you please start by…

QSOS with Margarete Brescia

QSOS with Margarete Brescia

Evelyn Salinger (ES): Today’s December 5, 2007. Margaret Brescia is the interviewee and her number is NM87111.003 and we’re at her home on Albuquerque, New Mexico. Hi, Margarete. Margarete Brescia (MB): Hi, there. ES: It’s nice to have you do…

QSOS with Jette Clover

QSOS with Jette Clover

Bernie Herman (BH): This is Bernie Herman on April 8, 2006 at the Art Quilts at the Sedgwick with Jette Clover. We are here to talk about your work and your thoughts on quiltmaking and quilt design. So first of all, welcome. Jette Clover (JC):…