The stories behind what we make as crafters provide a richness that imbues our handwork with meaning. Capturing and preserving those stories for quilts is the mission of the Quilt Alliance, a non-profit organization founded in 1993 that has recorded over 1,200 oral histories so far.

This work is carried out through several initiatives including one called Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories (QSOS) that aims to create an accessible body of information about quilt making today and in living memory. 

The organization is funded in part by an annual event that brings the community of supporters together for a weekend of lectures, discussions, a quilt show and more.  Prior to COVID, this event was Quilters Take Manhattan, and it’s since pivoted online in a new and exciting format, Quilters Take a Moment. This year’s event will be held September 17-18. Moda Fabrics is the presenting sponsor.

“Quilters Take a Moment was a lifeline for many of us who craved connections with quilts and fellow quilters during the pandemic. I’m thrilled that it is returning as a virtual event this year, which allows for greater access for quilters regardless of geographic location or finances,” says Laura Hopper, a Quilt Alliance board member who will be giving an exhibit tour during this year’s event. Hopper will preview the exhibition in a Textile Talk on August 11, 2021. 

“Curating last year’s Quilters Take a Moment exhibit, ‘Known and Unknown: Revealing Quilt Stories,’ was an honor, and I’ve already begun work on this year’s virtual exhibit about remembrance and commemoration in quiltmaking, which we hope will resonate with all attendees. While it’s difficult to replace the experience of seeing a quilt exhibit in person, the virtual exhibit format allows us to include so much more than we ever could in person, including videos from quiltmakers, links, and a further reading section. In the over 50 exhibits I’ve curated during my career, these virtual quilt exhibits stand out because of their wide reach and meaningful content.” 

A highlight of this fall’s event will be a special new QSOS oral history interview that will be recorded live: Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi will interview artist Bisa Butler about her work. 

 “The Quilt Alliance’s long-standing commitment to inclusion is reflected in the phenomenal lineup of speakers as well as the quilters exhibited in the virtual exhibit. Quilters Take a Moment is truly representative of the broad spectrum of quilters in our community. This event is a must for anyone who loves quilts,” says Hopper.

These interviews show the complexity and diversity of quiltmakers and of quilting and give voice to what has, through much of history, been an anonymous art form.

Other events on the agenda include a quilt show spotlighting the theme of “remembrance,” a Document That Quilt! workshop for practical tips on preserving the history of your quilts, a Museum Show & Share screening of “Go Tell It!” videos about quilts created by staff and volunteers from museums all over the United States,   and a behind-the-scenes industry chat with leaders from the thread, fabric, and notions business. A new offering this year is the Fabric Flower Mini Quilt Kit designed by artist Allie Aller with custom fabric flowers from M&S Schmalberg in New York City (event registration is not required to purchase the kit).

Tickets for Quilters Take a Moment are $45 for Quilt Alliance members and $65 for non-members and are on sale now

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