Quilts as Something Other Than a Cover-up

By Mary Simon

The Art Institute of Chicago's current exhibit, "Making Memories: Quilts As Souvenirs," inspired me to consider the role quilts play in Americana. Judy Chicago certainly has the right idea by expanding the meaning and importance of quilts and quilting. My recommendations reveal the ways we have come to accept that quilts transform our dreams, longings, and history.

  • The Dinner Party: Restoring Women to History

    2014 by Chicago, Judy

    Not technically a quilt, but the visual and textile art paradigm was shifted with Judy Chicago's incredible work.

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  • The Quilt That Walked to Golden

    2007 by Dallas, Sandra

    Preserving the telling of a way of life in the West using journals, diaries, and quilts, Dallas pieces together a beguiling story of the making of Golden, CO.

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  • Quilt of States

    2005 by Yorinks, Adrienne

    Fifty librarians offer close-up looks at their own states and the events that led them to join the Union.

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  • The Union Quilters

    2011 by Chiaverini, Jennifer

    This series of novels is about a group of women living in tumultuous times and working hard to maintain equilibrium at home. One of their coping mechanisms is quilting. This particular episode explores how the Civil War affected family lives.

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  • Common Threads: Stories From the Quilt


    Focusing on six individuals who died from AIDS, this documentary highlights the life and circumstances portrayed via panels affixed to the AIDS quilt.

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