Today's Quilt Historians
Women at Work
New Pathways into Quilt History written by Kimberly Wulfert,
Quilt History Educator
1) How do you
prefer to be described as, within the field of textile history?
you have a business, please tell us about that.
"I write articles for websites that introduce people to the
fascinating topic of quilt history. In the process I've discovered
that quilt history is a window into the lives of the ordinary women
of our past. I have published over 200 quilt
history articles and quilt patterns online. I am more a teacher than
a historian as I havenít done any original research. I use published
information on quilt history as well as what Iíve learned from
conferences and discussions with others to write my articles. I
include references so if a site visitor wants to learn more on a
topic they will know where to look."
2) When and where did you begin your serious interest in the
history of quilts, textiles or garments?
"Iíve always been interested in the quilts my grandmother and
great grandmother made and when I first searched online for quilt
history information in 1996 there was next to nothing on the topic.
I began by checking out books from the library to write a few basic
articles. A teacher at my local quilt shop had encouraged me to join
the American Quilt Study Group. Once I became involved in that many
more doors were opened to me in terms of finding information for my
3) What ďknownĒ individual (or group) influenced you most and
"Pat Means from Spokane taught quilting classes including one on
broderie perse that I enjoyed. She told me about the American Quilt
Study group. Then I got to know Kimberly Wulfert through our quilt
history websites. She has been a great help in getting me involved
in the world of quilt history."
4) Who became your personal mentor as you began your learning?
"Kim has supported me the most and has helped me connect with
others. Books were very much my inspiration as well."
5) What aspect of study were you most passionate about at first?
How has this changed over time and why?
"I started out wanting to learn the usual things a person hears
about like Amish Quilts, Crazy quilts and the quilts made in the
1930s. Soon I discovered that there was so much more to quilt
history that Iíd ever imagined. I had never thought about early
quilting and what was made in the 1700s compared to the 1800s. And
who would have dreamed that there were such things as quilts made of
cigar ribbons or that women of the south made three dimensional pine
burr quilts. But most of all quilting led me to discovering what the
lives of ordinary women were like over the years. I would say this
has become my passion."
6) What is your current ďPet projectĒ
"I donít have a special project going right now. As something
comes along that interests me I share it on online."
7) What aspect of your research or contribution to textile
studies has satisfied you the most?
"I do enjoy the fact that my websites are visited by people from
all over the world and that Iíve been able to help so many find the
answers to their quilt history related questions. Itís been fun
meeting and talking with so many fellow enthusiasts both online and
8) Within this arena, what would you like to do, but havenít done
"Iíd like to branch out into writing about womenís everyday lives.
There is so much more to learn and I certainly admire the ordinary
women of our past."
9) Any further comments are invited.
10) Please describe (in a list) the contributions you have made via
books, presentations, exhibits, contests, articles, fabric lines,
research papers and the like.
Thank you very much,
Judy, for sharing your self with us and for the insights we gain because of your efforts in this field. Continued success to you.
Women (and Men) at Work
© 2006 - 2016 Kimberly Wulfert, PhD. Absolutely no copies, reprints, use
of photos or text are permitted for commercial or online use. One personal copy for study purposes is permitted.
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