West Virginia Quilts and Quiltmakers
Echoes from the Hills
by FAWN VALENTINE
A treasury of Mountain State heirlooms
Tucked away in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia, preserved for generations, handmade bed quilts are windows into the past. In 1983, three West Virginia county extension agents discussed the need to locate and document their state's historic quilts. In 1992, West Virginia Heritage Quilt Search held documentation days throughout the state to collect and preserve the valuable information stitched into these quilts.
The search focused on documenting quilts made in West Virginia before 1940, which marked the end of a fertile period in American quilt history and the beginning of a decline in quilt making that would continue until the 1970s. Ultimately, the search registered more than 4,000 quilts.
This effort has culminated in West Virginia Quilts and Quilt makers: Echoes from the Hills, published by Ohio University Press on November 1, 2000, in association with the West Virginia Heritage Quilt Search, Inc. The book includes 159 color photographs of selected quilts, with maps showing where they were made, a database analysis of the statewide survey, and the oral histories of descendants of quilt makers.
Publication of this book was made possible through a grant from the West Virginia Humanities Council.
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If you’d like to research a quilt that was documented in the WV Heritage Quilt Search, this information is now available online at: http://www.quiltindex.org
You can do a search by ID#, state and maker (if you know the maker).
* Important - do not use hyphens for the ID#. Just type in the number (e.g. type in 20010, not 2-0010).
You may also email Fran Kordek for further information: firstname.lastname@example.org