Join our book club for January 2019!
Joining our book club is FREE, but participants must RSVP and purchase their own books.
If you are interested in being a part of this fun group, please
RSVP via email at firstname.lastname@example.org by January 10th with your;
name, interest level in quilts, email address, phone number and one fun fact about yourself.
We will be meeting on January 15th & 29th from 5:15pm - 6:45pm at the Virginia Quilt Museum.
Our first book is featured below.
Please read pages 1-55 by our first meeting on Jan. 15th.
If you would like to purchase the book online, you may do so by clicking here.
“An American Quilt [is] nothing less than a reexamination of American history through the lens of race, class, and gender.”
It begins with the discovery of an unfinished quilt. At an archive at the University of Rhode Island a metal drawer slides out to reveal a quilt made in 1833 by a newlywed couple in Charleston, Virginia. The author’s colleague says, “It’s the back you’ll want to see.”
The unfinished back still has the hexagonal paper templates sewn in, made from mysterious scraps of documents and letters: “dear sister,” and “signed in the presence of,” “master for,” “friendship".
Rachel May, quilter and author of the novel, Benedictines, the nonfiction Quilting with a Modern Slant, and a mixed genre book of fables and fabric collages, The Experiments: A Legend in Pictures and Words, is “dazzled,” “entranced.” She longs to unravel the mysteries of the quilt, and imagines the romantic scene in which the newlyweds quilt together by lamp light.
But the story takes a different turn when May begins to read the documentation of a family member from the 1930s. In 1952, Franklin Cushman, family historian, had donated the quilt along with other family documents to the university, including his own research on the origins of the fabrics. May opens Franklin's notebook and is startled to read his note about one of the patches in the quilt: “probably for slave gowns.”
This note impels an ambitious, exhaustively researched decade’s long project that stitches together women to men, rich to poor, past to present, north to south, enslaved people to free people. An American Quilt becomes nothing less than a reexamination of American history.