Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics - Episode 7 - Empowering Women One Quilt at a Time

Episode 7: Empowering Women One Quilt at a Time



  • The Ultimate Symbol of Liberation
  • Quilt Power Equals Woman Power
  • Politics and Speaking Out
  • Taking on an Icon: One Quilt’s Journey

You can look long and hard and you won’t find an object more central to the history of women than the quilt.  In this episode we look at the quilt’s historical and current roles as (among others) an avenue of personal expression, a sly medium of social and political opinion, and a building block of financial security.   Unique among objects, quilts are both lowly “women’s work” and great art.  They are something made from nothing; they are both nurturing and inspiring.   They can communicate both intimate memories and great societal truths, and they have throughout history.  Here curators, quilt makers, and scholars discuss the surprising number of ways in which the quilt has been and continues to be woven into the histories and psyches of our mothers, our sisters, ourselves.

Featuring appearances by Shelly Zegart, Kathleen Loomis, Janine Janniere, Maxwell L. Anderson, Marcie Cohen Ferris, Penny Sisto, Carolyn L. Mazloomi, Karen S. Musgrave, Kay Polson Grubola, Vadis Turner, Matt Arnett, Judy Schwender, Mariya Waters, Niloo Paydar, Caryl Bryer Fallert, John Begley, Judy Marie Laval Morton, Hollis Chatelain and Bernie Herman.


Episode Resources:

Image Resource Guide | Image GalleryBiographies


Watch Episode Preview:


Watch Episode Introduction:

In this video: Carolyn L. Mazloomi, Quiltmaker and Founder of Women of Color Quilters Network (West Chester, OH)


Image (page top): Tuley Park Exhibition, 1930s.  Tuley Park Quilt Club. Chicago Park District. Chicago, IL. Courtesy of Susan Salser. Chicago master quilter Mary Gasperik is standing at the left, in front of her Laurel Wreath quilt and behind Tuley Park quilt club president, Virgie Stewart.  Mary Gasperik is Susan Salser’s grandmother.  You can see the quilts that Mary made and learn more about her on the Quilt Index, www.quiltindex.org


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