Every Quilt Tells a Story

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This presentation incorporates the video created through the support of the “Winnie Grant” awarded to Welters, Jerome, and Kelly in Center for Humanities’ Fall 2021 Grant cycle. The video’s title is “Every Quilt Tells a Story.” Textiles in general, and quilts in particular, offer opportunities to explore humanities themes through examination of material culture. Quilts express changes in textile production through their fabrics, in aesthetic preferences, and in stories surrounding the circumstances of their making and use. The seven quilts to be featured in the video explore themes of changing technology, trade, gender, and aesthetic preferences. If possible, one of the quilts will be brought to the presentation to discuss what can be gleaned from a material culture approach to history.

The larger goal is to showcase objects in the Historic Textile and Costume Collection and make URI students and faculty aware of the possibilities for their own research and teaching. The discussion will involve how to fuse object-based research with documentary research. The workshop should attract students and faculty in the fields of textiles, art, and social history as well as the history of Rhode Island and the changing technologies and influences surrounding textile manufacturing in America.

Welters, Jerome, and Kelly’s project is featured in the Rhode Island issue of Quiltfolk magazine.