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February 2019 Book Club!

  • Virginia Quilt Museum 301 South Main Street Harrisonburg United States (map)

Join our book club for February 2019!

Joining our book club is FREE, but participants must RSVP and purchase their own books.

For our February book, the Virginia Quilt Museum will have FOUR books available for purchase at $15.00 each.

If you are interested in being a part of this fun group, please

RSVP via email at vqmevents@gmail.com by February 11th.

We will be meeting on February 12th & 26th from 5:15pm - 6:30pm at the Virginia Quilt Museum.

Our book is featured below.

Please read pages 1-20 by our first meeting on Feb. 12th.

If you would like to purchase the book online, you may do so by clicking here.

Freedom Quilting Bee.jpg

An Introduction to The Freedom Quilting Bee by Nancy Callahan

Because my grandmother and other family members were quilters, all my life I had been exposed to and interested in quilts as an art and craft. But those at Stillman College attracted me as no others ever had.

These quilts were adventurous, those Stars and Monkey Wrenches and Courthouse Steps. They were brilliant and beautiful, but in a way far different from those I had known.  For instance, the color black was frequently employed. The schemes of color – black mixed with white, black with yellow, and red on white – provided stark contrasts.  In addition, rich use was made of the pure, primary hues, quite unlike the softer pastels of my past.

But those quilts also told much about their makers – members all in the struggle for civil rights. They were obviously women of enormous confidence and courage, whose daring spirits provided the sustenance by which they had prevailed. What I did not realize then but came to learn years later was the powerful history behind each showpiece in the Stillman College exhibit.

Some of the quilts sold, the others went home. And, for more than a decade, the back side of my soul felt a magnetic pull toward the Freedom Quilting Bee, a deep longing to visit and learn more about it. I made the trip, traveling forty miles below Selma to a place called Route One, Alberta. A week later, I suddenly decided to write a book about the Bee.

Granted, the co-op had been publicized in the most sophisticated newspapers and magazines of the East.  But the Bee was about civil rights as much as anything.  And, in all the efforts to document that phase of our nation, the quilters had somehow been overlooked.

Even before Selma and the national outcry of sympathy for black voting rights set off in that city, the women who organize the Freedom Quilting Bee had been star players in locals civil rights.  They went to church and heard Martin Luther King, Jr., preach. They organized among themselves. They aired their convictions to the white elected officials. They marched and spent their time in jail. And they, too, were part of the march to Montgomery.

Ironically, the Freedom Quilting Bee has been, until now, one of the best-kept secrets in all Alabama.  Surely it is too positive, too inventive, and too inspiring to remain anonymous.  Its members should not live and die and never make the pages of history.  

Earlier Event: February 9
Stash Blast!