Rethinking Quilt Projects: A Folklorist's Perspective


From The Quilt Journal - An International Review, Vol. 1, No. 1.


By: Horton, Laurel

Editor Notes: As more scholars in different disciplines take up the study of quilts, there will inevitably be differing points of view as to what aspects of quilts should be studied, how this should be accomplished, who should do it, how data should be collected, interpreted, stored. Some debate on these and other scholarship issues has already ensued. Of considerable current interest has been the issue of methodology in state quilt surveys. Some professional folklorists have expressed concern that these surveys, conducted largely by amateur scholars, may be flawed in the ways they amass and record data; that, indeed, their goals and methods are such that the quilt information collected may be of little, or impaired value as research data. Laurel Horton, noted folklorist and experienced quilt scholar, discusses in this article the methods and goals of the folklorist in relation to the study of quilts.

Author Notes: Laurel Horton holds an M.A. in Folklore from the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill and an M.S. in Library Science from the University of Kentucky. She serves on the Board of Directors for the American Quilt Study Group and edits Uncoverings, AQSG's annual volume of research papers. She directed the South Carolina Quilt History Project and is the author of Social Fabric: South Carolina's Traditional Quilts.