For a complete press kit with information about Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics, a nine-part documentary series, click on the link below.  The press kit includes press releases, fact sheets, and all press contact information.

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For all press inquiries and opportunities including media coverage, media appearances, and special event coverage regarding Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics, please email
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Video Introduction, by Shelly Zegart


YouTube Visit Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics on our YouTube channel

Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics in the Press

Kentucky Monthly: “Dancing Quilts”

Why Quilts Matter : April 10, 2013 8:26 PM : Press

Take a look at the “Dancing Quilts” article in the April 2013 issue of Kentucky Monthly magazine, by Rachel Guadagni.
Dancing Quilts - Kentucky Monthly, April 2013

“Why do I have to learn this?”  Virtually every teacher and parent has been on the receiving end of this incredulous question, and many have struggled to provide a meaningful answer.  But it takes only a moment with Shelly Zegart for the meaning and value of her work to become apparent to anyone wondering, “Why quilts?”

View PDF DocumentRead/download full article “Dancing Quilts” (PDF) as published in the Kentucky Monthly magazine, April 2013.

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Why Quilts Matter Receives Recognition in Canada and United Kingdom

Why Quilts Matter : October 14, 2012 10:02 PM : News, Press, Reviews

Our most recent media coverage is abroad – Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics was reviewed in Quilter’s Connection (Canada) and Popular Patchwork (United Kingdom).

Quilter’s Connection – Canada

Click on the image below to read the article in PDF format.

Qulters Connection - Fall 2012 Issue, Why Quilts Matter Review


Popular Patchwork – United Kingdom

Click on the image below to read the article in PDF format.

Popular Patchwork Fall 2012 Issue - Why Quilts Matter Review

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“Quilting Arts” Reviews “Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics”

Why Quilts Matter : April 2, 2012 10:09 PM : Press, Reviews

Quilting Arts April / May 2012 CoverIn its April 2012 issue, Quilting Arts magazine reviews the Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics series: “If you have a deep-rooted interest in the multitude of ways that quilting has reflected and influenced our society, the this nine-part documentary series should be a cornerstone of your video collection,” says the reviewer, Vivika Hansen DeNegre.  “The documentary was designed to spotlight both the passions of quilt artists and collectors, as well as the differing points of view surrounding the quilt and its culture.”

Quilting Arts Reviews Why Quilts Matter, April 2012
©Interweave Press 2012. Posted with permission.

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History Channel Club: “Quilts Hold Much More Than Warmth”

Why Quilts Matter : March 3, 2012 11:40 PM : Press, Reviews

Why Quilts Matter - Quilts CollageQuilts aren’t just for snuggling (though they’re good for that, too).

Politics, religion, family, and local history. These topics and more often are hidden among the bright colors and amazing patterns quilters have woven into their projects for generations. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill history professor William R. Ferris even cites quilts as a metaphor for our shared “patchwork” experience as Americans.

Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics, is a new nine-episode DVD executive produced and hosted by Shelly Zegart, co-founder of the Kentucky Quilt Project (the first state quilting documentation project, established in 1981), and the Alliance for American Quilts. An expert at the forefront of quilt study for more than three decades, she curates exhibitions, presents lectures, and writes on all aspects of quilt history and aesthetics.

With an estimated 21.3 million quilt makers in the United States—and countless others around the world—there are a lot of stories with which to snuggle up.

Originally posted in History Channel Club: Daily Digest, March 1, 2012.

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Quilter’s Digest Review – March 2012

Why Quilts Matter : March 1, 2012 4:49 PM : Press, Reviews

Quilter's Digest - March 2012

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McCall’s Quilting Review – Feb/Mar 2012

Why Quilts Matter : March 1, 2012 4:34 PM : Press, Reviews

McCalls Quilting Article 2012 Feb-Mar

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Library Journal Reviews “Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics”

Why Quilts Matter : February 9, 2012 2:05 PM : Academic Reviews, News, Press, Reviews

Another positive review has rolled in, this time from Library Journal which has the highest circulation of any journal for librarians. Library Journal reviews are written by librarians for librarians and feature the latest reviews and collection development resources. Check out their final verdict:

“Zegart reveals through photographs and interviews just how essential quilts are in studying American culture… Currently, there are millions of quilters supporting a hugely profitable business worldwide, with quilts hanging in art museums and commanding premium prices among collectors. This compelling and visually rich series convinces us that quilts do matter. VERDICT This wonderful series would be an important addition for all museums, libraries, and quilt guilds.”

With all of these positive reviews in hand we are working even harder to make Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics widely available to all whether that be in a museum shop, your local library or your next quilt guild gathering.

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“Why Quilts Matter” Reviewed by Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO)

Why Quilts Matter : January 27, 2012 4:58 PM : Academic Reviews, Opinions, Press, Reviews

Published on Education Media Reviews Online (EMRO), Jan 10, 2012

Reviewed by Winifred Fordham Metz, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Lori Widzinski, University Libraries, University at Buffalo, State University of New York

Shelly Zegart, a known expert on antique and contemporary quilts, has collected, curated, lectured and written about quilts for over four decades. This deep and abiding passion for quilts is exemplified to valuable effect in Zegart’s series Why Quilts Matter. Originally produced for television, this robust series is a thoughtfully crafted and insightful examination of the American quilt. Covering the history, community and scholarship of the American quilt from early times through its current placement in the art world, Zegart seemingly covers every angle of American quilts and quilting over the course of this lengthy nine-part series.

Why Quilts Matter is broken out into 9 episodes: Antique and Contemporary Quilts, Quilts Bring History Alive, The Quilt Marketplace, What is Art, Gee’s Bend, How Quilts have been Viewed and Collected, Empowering Women One Quilt at a Time, Quilt Nation: 20,000,000 and Counting, Quilt Scholarship: Romance and Reality. In each episode, Zegart engages in an insightful conversation with an array of articulate artists, curators, collectors, dealers, critics and teaching faculty. Very rich in narrative, the series offers a good balance of this expert commentary with visuals of the quilts themselves. Zegart offers a complete image resource guide to all of the images, quilts and people in the episodes at the series’ website.

This series could just as easily serve as a primer on the subject as it could springboard detailed and layered discussions deconstructing and analyzing the aesthetics and politics of the American quilt. It certainly promotes quilt scholarship and underscores Zegart’s desire to “…engage a new audience in the centrality of the quilt to American culture.”

Shelly Zegart, the executive producer and host brings a thorough introduction of the rich world of quilting to the forefront, and her infectious enthusiasm encourages further exploration and research. This fine series has aired on selected PBS stations and is recommended for academic and public library collections. Each episode is further divided into sections, making it optimal for classroom selection and viewing. The Special Features section of the DVD includes some interesting stories from the producers and other quilters including how and why the films were made as well as Bonus Clips.

Why Quilts Matter Reviewed by Educational Media Reviews Online

Read full review on Educational Media Reviews Online.

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Quilts Matter, and Documentary Explains Why

Why Quilts Matter : January 9, 2012 9:35 PM : Press

By Sherida Warner, January 7, 2012
Originally published at GJSentinel

Though she’s never pieced together a patchwork quilt of her own, Shelly Zegart of Louisville, Ky., is an expert on the role that quilts play in American culture.

As a dealer, appraiser and collector of quilts since the mid-1970s, Zegart’s personal collection hangs in the Art Institute of Chicago. She advocates for quilt scholarship and helped found the Kentucky Quilt Project in 1980 and the Alliance for American Quilts in 1993.

For the past three years, she has been the executive producer and host of a nine-part documentary series, “Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics.” The first episode airs from 3:30 to 4 p.m. today on Rocky Mountain PBS on the Front Range and the Western Slope. The series, independently produced and funded by the nonprofit Kentucky Quilt Project, also is available on DVD.

Her goal, she says, is to start a conversation about an art form that is “so much more than grandma sitting in the corner passing time.”

“Quilts are keepers of our history, as well as a way for women and men to express their political views and their artistic sides.”

Zegart’s documentary brings together academics, curators, savvy dealers and passionate quilt makers, noting that 21 million quilters are active in the U.S. today.

She also wants to show viewers how the industry is a major economic engine in the marketplace with almost $4 billion spent annually.

The series now is reaching universities, “and one of my goals is to engage a younger audience,” Zegart says.

So far, she has been delighted with the feedback. Quilters remark that they are proud to be part of this art form; non-quilters often express a newfound interest in it.

Well-known fabric artists such as Caryl Bryer Fallert of Paducah, Ky., and Ricky Tims of LaVeta, Colo., are among those featured in “Why Quilts Matter.”

It mentions Tims’ stardom as part of a Quilt Nation subculture, with the more-than-plausible possibility that an adoring fan would quickly bypass actor George Clooney to score a coveted autograph from the Caveman Quilter of Colorado.

Much discussion centers on how quilts have penetrated the barrier between craft and art and what makes a quilt museum-worthy, including an episode on the Gee’s Bend quilts, their rise to fame in 2002 and some of the controversy they caused.

The documentary tackles tough topics, such as the criteria that defines art, how quilts have been viewed because of their female origins and utilitarian nature, and the politics within the industry in which competing personalities and organizations vie for money and power.

The validation of women through quilts has been another motivating factor for Zegart in her tireless promotion of quilting as an art form.

In the series, Carolyn Mazloomi, a quilt maker and founder of Women of Color Quilters Network of West Chester, Ohio, describes quilts as “compelling.” “They touch people’s spirit,” she says.

In Episode 9 about “Quilt Scholarship,” Stacy Hollander, senior curator at the American Folk Art Museum in New York City, says, “Quilts hold so much information — personal, national, international.”

“They reflect the pulse of every moment (of history) from multiple perspectives. It’s just remarkable.”

It’s Zegart’s belief that the beauty of quilts is in the freedom of expression.

The quilt world is diverse, she says, and is illustrated in “Why Quilts Matter” by works made from flour sacks, cigarette packs, beer cans, machine embroidery, longarm quilting, hand stitching, patterns and freehand designs.

She appreciates antique and contemporary quilts and recognizes how recent technology has changed styles from handmade to more machine-made examples.

“Technology is on the rise,” Zegart acknowledges, “but so is the hand-crafted movement. You have a whole generation of young people returning to craftsmanship whether that be woodworking, sewing or farming.”

“It’s all cyclical and balances each other out.”

One of the newest technologies, computerized machine embroidery, may be appreciated by some collectors who “enjoy the precision” produced in such manner, Zegart says.

“As a collector, I may not choose to spend my money on a quilt that was embroidered on a computerized machine, but that’s my choice.”

No matter what technique a quilter chooses, Zegart says, “I believe quilts can be viewed as art, and art comes in all forms and is made by many methods.”

That’s why Zegart made her documentary, to answer the question for anyone who still wonders why quilts matter.

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Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics is Reviewed by Video Librarian: The Video Review Magazine for Libraries

Why Quilts Matter : January 9, 2012 9:20 PM : Academic Reviews, News, Press

Video Librarian Online Magazine CoverWe’re thrilled to be featured in the recent issue of Video Librarian: The Video Review Magazine for Libraries, where the series received “3 out of 4 stars” and a “Recommended” rating.  We’ve already received requests to carry the DVD from libraries, and along with this review and the recent review in Booklist, we hope to reach even more. Our goal is to continue to spread the conversation about the importance of quilts and to make the series accessible to everyone.  You can help us along by placing a request at your local library for the series!

– Shelly Zegart

Author and lecturer Shelly Zegart hosts this illuminating nine-part TV series about the history of quilting, which she launches by explaining the difference between antique and contemporary quilts (the former pre-date the 1960s; the latter came afterwards).  Zegart also distinguishes art or studio pieces, which exist primarily for display.  Vintage and contemporary footage and photographs are interwoven throughout the running commentary offered by Zegart and others, including quilt makers, antique dealers, textile curators, gallery owners, and history professors, such as William Ferris, who describes quilts as “recycled works of art.”  To many owners and collectors, each completed piece tells a story about its creator, whether an individual or a group (and also through the choice of fabrics and messages stitched into them).  Aside from their practical and aesthetic value, quilts have served as moneymakers for contest participants and fundraisers for various causes.  According to Zegart, prices took off after 1971 exhibit at the Whitney Museum but started to decline after the remarkable Reconciliation Quilt sold for $264,000 at Sotheby’s in 1991.  The most interesting episode looks exclusively at the striking work of the quilters of Gee’s Bend, AL, who’ve achieved international acclaim.  DVD extras include bonus clips and an interview.  Recommended.  Aud: C, P. (K. Fennessy)




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