The historical events of nineteenth-century America as depicted in the quilts of the country's women.

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The historical events of nineteenth-century America as depicted in the quilts of the country's women.

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reenactment | quilting | 1800s | See All (3) »


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20 December 1988 (USA)  »

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Engaging, Informative
15 August 2014 | by (Spain) – See all my reviews

I first saw this episode of The American Experience when it was originally broadcast in 1987. It inspired me to explore the craft of quilt-making; as I live in Europe, I had to be a self-taught quilter, much like many of the women who worked in isolation on America's frontier. The stories of women's lives and creativity expressed through the medium of fabric scraps, making "something out of nothing", that is useful as well as decorative and fulfilling, have remained with me ever since.

I recently had the pleasure of finding it on DVD--you will have to look for it, but I found ordered it online from a quilt store in CA. I have a nearly eidetic memory for film and documentary, and having watched the original broadcast several times back in the days of VCRs, I was struck by the fact that the PBS broadcast had cut some scenes and that some of the voices were different. Perhaps in the remastering process, the original dialogue had to be re-recorded. The "voices of the past" overlap in this version as they did not in the original American Experience broadcast. There is a definite political agenda present in the wording of the narration, but if like me you are more interested in the craft itself, it's easy to ignore the rest.

For those who are interested, the writings of Lucy Larcom, Elizabeth Keckley (Mrs Lincoln's dressmaker), Harriet Tubman and Abigail Duniway are available online at Project Gutenberg.


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