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History and Mission
The Quilt Alliance was founded as the Alliance for American Quilts in 1993 when four women recognized the need to centralize and curate information about quilts and quiltmaking-Shelly Zegart and Eunice Ray of The Kentucky Quilt Project, and Karey Bresenhan and Nancy O'Bryant, corporate officers of Quilts, Inc. and founders of the non-profit Texas Quilt Search. With the establishment of the Alliance for American Quilts, the founders combined their shared dedication to quilts with their extensive experiences shaping the quilt industry and quilt scholarship in this country.
The Quilt Alliance, a nonprofit organization, supports and develops projects to document, preserve, and share the history of quilts and quiltmakers. The Alliance brings together groups and individuals from the creative, scholarly and business worlds of quiltmaking to advance the recognition of quilts and their makers.
The Alliance's four core projects are:
- The Quilt Index
A national online database of quilt records bringing new access to detailed information and images of quilts from museums, historical societies, guilds, documentation projects and private collections. Partners: MATRIX: Center for Humane Arts, Letters and Social Sciences Online at Michigan State University and the Michigan State University Museum
- Quilters' S.O.S. - Save Our Stories
Grassroots oral history project preserving the stories of today's quiltmakers from all over the US and abroad. Archived at the Library of Congress' American Folklife Center
- Quilt Treasures
Multi-media portraits profiling key quilt revival pioneers including quiltmakers, historians, collectors, teachers, business leaders. Partners: MATRIX: Center for Humane Arts, Letters and Social Sciences Online at Michigan State University and the Michigan State University Museum
- Boxes Under the Bed
Rescue and recovery efforts to save quilt ephemera, preserving items families and collectors find in boxes of quilts. Partner: Winedale Historical Complex, a division of The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin
About These Quilts
The quilts showcased here represent the Alliance's national quilt contest started in 2006. Each year QI presents a "small quilt" contest with an open-ended theme. The goal of the contest is to reach out to today' s quiltmakers with a challenge that engages them with our mission, document their response and raise funds via an auction of the quilts (all entrants donate their quilts to the Alliance). Entrants are encouraged to interpret that year' s contest theme as creatively and personally as possible. Members vote to decide the winners and QA business members provide the prizes. Past contest themes include:
Thanks and Acknowledgments:
The Alliance staff and board would like to thank and acknowledge all of the quiltmakers who have donated their quilts for contests. Your creativity and generosity is documented here for generations to come. Thank you!
Please see the Quilt Alliance website for information on the current contest
View all records in this project