Kathleen McCrady


  Austin, Texas, United States    

University of Texas at Austin, Briscoe Center for American History

Kathleen McCrady is a nationally recognized quilt maker and quilt historian. Her collection resides at the Briscoe Center for American History at The University of Texas at Austin. The collection contains records of the Austin Area Quilt Guild, which include announcements, quilt show programs, workshop applications, member rosters, and financial reports dating from 1979-2000.
Quilting has always been a part of Kathleen McCrady's life. During her childhood, her mother and maternal grandmother made quilts to cover beds. McCrady's mother taught her to sew as a child. Her mother-in-law and her mother were also avid quilt makers. In the late seventies, McCrady became active in the Austin Area Stitchery Guild and a subgroup, the Nitestitchers, who met informally on Sundays to socialize and quilt. In 1979, McCrady became a charter member of the Austin Area Quilt Guild. She has held various positions in the guild including President (1980), Bee Coordinator (1981), Historian (1985), Ad Hoc Committee Chair for Quilting Shows (1993) and Conservation Chair (2000). Kathleen McCrady also taught quilting classes and workshops. In 1995, she established the Quilt History Study Hall and offered classes on quilt history using her extensive collections of quilts, fabrics, and ephemera. Several of Mrs. McCrady's quilts have been exhibited nationally and internationally and have been featured in Quilters Newsletter Magazine.

Kathleen McCrady’s collection currently contains 30 quilts and 20 quilt tops; many of these quilts are family quilts or were made by Kathleen. Others are ones she collected for personal enjoyment or as instructional tools in her Quilt History Study Hall (see below). Mrs. McCrady plans to donate an additional 9 quilts, probably this month (June, 2011). The collection also contains fabric swatches, quilt blocks, fabric remnants, and cotton sacks.

Her collection also contains patterns, manuscripts, newspaper and magazine clippings, calendars, photographs, quilting exhibit programs, books, and sewing notions. Records of the Austin Area Quilt Guild include announcements, quilt show programs, workshop applications, membership rosters, and financial reports dating from 1979 to 2000 and document the groups' biennial quilt shows, conservation activities, workshops, and monthly meetings. "An Overview of a Quilter's Life (in Quilts): The Collection of Lora Mae McNeil" is a group of quilting memorabilia and quilting patterns. McCrady acquired the materials from 1999 from a friend of McNeil's son. The documents include McCrady's notes regarding a meeting between her and McNeil in 1999.These materials document Kathleen McCrady's involvement in quilt making, quilt appraisal, and documentation of quilting history. Mrs. McCrady collected many of these items to support her quilt history teaching and, more recently, her free classes in her Quilt History Study Hall, which she held in her home. All items from her Quilt History Study Hall are described in detailed accession cards she prepared.

You can hear her QSOS Inverview with Kathleen McCrady here.

Was the maker a woman, man or a group?


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