The Quilt Index Press Announcement: Quilt Index Gets Grant to Plan a Global Future

Quilt Index logo

For Immediate Release
September 27, 2010

QuiltIndex webshot

Home page of the updated and expanded Quilt Index Website (


Amy E. Milne, Executive Director
The Alliance for American Quilts

(828) 251-7073

Marsha MacDowell, Curator, Folk Arts
MSU Museum
(517) 290-5195

Dean Rehberger, Director
(517) 355-9300


The Quilt Index, an online archive of more than 50,000 documented quilts, plans to begin adding quilts from outside the United States to its robust database.  To design a blueprint for creating a truly international digital quilt collection, the Index received a significant planning grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
Already, the audience for the Quilt Index is global, but the plan is for its online collections to be global as well, a logical but not simple next step. Users of the Quilt Index range widely, including historians, librarians, curators, quiltmakers, quilt collectors, genealogists and fabric designers, and all will benefit from making the archive international, with an enhanced capability for interchange and cross-cultural collaboration.

Quilt made by a member of the Mzansi Zulu Quilt Centre, located just outside of Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Loaned to the Michigan State University Museum, photograph by Pearl Yee Wong, MSU Museum.
South African quilt

The one-year grant of about $100,000 will help the project’s organizers solve problems such as “supporting multilingual indexing, searching and retrieval of information,” according to the IMLS. In short, the Index wants to build a collaborative virtual museum across dozens of countries and cultures that share a passion for quilting.
The Quilt Index is run in partnership by the Michigan State University Museum, MATRIX Center for Humane Arts, Letters and Social Sciences Online at MSU, and the Alliance for American Quilts. All three partners are dedicated to using new technologies to preserve and share the stories of quilts and quilters online. Jointly, the three partners, along with the International Quilt Study Center and Museum at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln -a new partner for this project– will use the grant to assess the challenges of going global, and then develop a plan to respond to those challenges. It is expected that this project will provide lessons to other museums and libraries working on international projects.
The IMLS, the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums, has provided vital support in previous efforts to build and enhance the cutting-edge tech tools for which the Quilt Index is justly lauded.  Regarding this new grant, the IMLS said it believes that museums and libraries “play a vital role in helping us experience, explore, discover and make sense of the world. Through building technological infrastructure and strengthening community relationships, libraries and museums can offer the public unprecedented access and expertise in transforming information overload into knowledge.”
The Index is already a trusted resource used by scholars and quilt enthusiasts all over the world, but the images and data currently online all come from U.S.-based museums and state documentation projects. However, the quilt revival that blossomed across the U.S. beginning in the 1970s is now spreading throughout the world. Both contemporary and vintage quilts are basking in a new glow of appreciation for their worth as both artistic and historic artifacts. The Quilt Index has always endeavored not just to preserve and show significant quilts and tell their stories, but to create multiple tools that allow scholars and historians to study and compare quilts from anytime and any place, and to actively collaborate online.
This new grant will help the Quilt Index prepare to add international quilts to that mix. Among other things, the Index staff will create an extensive online list of international institutions that own important quilt collections and then will help those institutions prepare plans to add their quilts to the Index. The Index is building an international advisory board of 12 representatives knowledgeable about quilt collections in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.
It is not settled yet which country’s quilts will be the first  documented on the Index, but Marsha MacDowell, curator of folk arts at the MSU Museum, who returned recently from a study trip to South Africa, sees great possibilities for the project’s global future. “After visiting textile collections in over 21 museums in South Africa in early 2010, there is real excitement on the part of the staffs of those museums to be able to compare and contrast their own holdings with collections not only around the world, but also within their own country,” she said. “And I am already excited to see how those South African collections are related to the history of world economics, trade, migration, politics, religions, art and cultural traditions.”
For further information about this grant please contact any of the experts listed at the top of the release.  To visit the Quilt Index and study its current resources, go to

Online Slides of Alliance for American Quilts – “New Quilts from an Old Favorite” & Online Auction Begins October 25, 2010

The winners of the Alliance for American QuiltsNew Quilts from an Old Favorite have been announced and The Quilt Show has the winners.  These quilts are only 16″ square and the theme of the contest was “New from Old.”

The fourteen award winners’ quilts are shown on this Smilebox presentation from The Quilt Show:

The quilts will be  auctioned off  on Ebay.  To learn more about the quilts’ tour, visit the AAQ site at:

Auction dates are:

Auction #1: Monday, Oct. 25 – Monday, Nov. 1 2010
Auction #2: Monday, Nov. 8 – Monday, Nov. 15 2010
Auction #3: Monday, Nov. 15 – Monday, Nov. 22 2010
Auction #4: Monday, Nov. 29 – Monday, Dec. 6 2010

Thirty-nine more slides  in a second Smilebox slide show presentation from The Quilt Show are  here:

30. “Redotwo Ten” byYvonne Porcella*                                                          Photo is the AAQ’s.

The 117 quilts can be seen at:

” ROM Conservation: Restoring the Palampore” Online Video from Royal Ontario Museum

The Royal Ontario Museum recently spent eight months restoring a large palampore, and they kept a video record of  their major conservation project. Fascinating to see, and what a beautiful palampore!

Iraqi Bundles of Love 2.1

This article is by International Quilt Festival on Tuesday, September 14, 2010.

We all know what big hearts quilters have! And we also know what big “stashes” most quilters have. Now is your chance to show off that big heart while sharing a bit of that big stash!

Iraqi Bundles of Love is a short-duration project that puts fabric and sewing (and knitting!) materials into the hands of women living in Salah ad Din, an area of Northern Iraq. These donated supplies are provided to two types of recipients: locals who desperately need these types of items, and local sewing co-ops and small businesses that have received grants or loans.

How can you help? Collect your extra fabrics, needles, threads, yarns—anything you’re willing to share—bundle them up, and place them into a flat-rate box for mailing. E-mail us at pubs2@quilts.comno later than October 1. to request the mailing address (due to regulations, it cannot be posted online), and place it in the mail

Once the package has arrived in Iraq, it will be opened and handed off for distribution in the Salah ad Din area. Even a small donation can have a huge difference in someone’s life!

See HERE for information on what to send. While any type of fabric would be gladly accepted, solid colors and simple prints are ideal. Green is a favorite color in the culture. And the bigger the better! Large pieces of fabric and bolts of yarn are needed. Fabric may be used for quilting, but will likely also be used for making clothing. You can even send pieces from unfinished projects (another thing most quilters have a lot of!).

For information on building your bundle, see HERE.

The project is also on Facebook HERE.

We hope that you’ll take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to help women currently living in a war zone. And remember to have your bundle in the mail by October 1.

Quilts from Atlantic Heritage Center, Somers Point, New Jersey, on Exhibit through October 10, 2010

Quilts from the collection of the Atlantic Heritage Center,  are on exhibit there until October 10, 2010. The Center is located in Somers Point, New Jersey.

The exhibit was guest curated by Merry May and includes
quilts from the early 1880s through the 1970s with two Bicentennial quilts.

There is a wonderful photo exhibit of the quilts at

Website is

Photo is the Atlantic Heritage Center’s

“Childhood Treasures: Doll Quilts from the Ghormley Collection” Now – December 12, 2010, at International Quilt Study Center & Museum, Lincoln, Nebraska

Childhood Treasures: Doll Quilts from the Ghormley Collection will be on display  through December 12, 2010.  The exhibition includes more than 300 nineteenth and early twentieth century doll quilts and antique doll cribs and cradles at  the International Quilt Study Center and Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska.  The exhibit can be seen until December 12, 2010.
About the Museum:

American Quilt Study Group Pre-Seminar Online Auction in Progress, Closing September 15, 2010

Eighteen  quilts and related items  are in an on-line auction to raise funds for AQSG (American Quilt Study Group).  Bidding closes on September 15, 2010,  and any items not reaching the  reserve price will move to the live auction at Seminar in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Check it out at:

Crib Quilt

One of the Quilts, “Kitty Parade”

Photo is AQSG’s

“Evolutions” at Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden, Colorado, through October 30, 2010

The current exhibit at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden, Colorado,  is “Evolutions” a quilt challenge, that is on until October 30, 2010.


“Aspens II” by Erlene Irwin

Photo is the Museum’s.

YouTube’s “You Can Quilt That Out” – Very Funny!

Here is a song by Cathy Miller on YouTube, “You Can Quilt That Out” that is very funny!