We’ve been hard at work behind the scenes on something very exciting—the first-ever Suzy Quilts Book Club! If you’re a Suzy Quilts fan, you know that Suzy’s patterns and tutorials are rooted in a love of quilt history. We’re thrilled to take that love a step further with our new book club and read one of the best quilt history books currently available as a community!
Over the next three months, we’ll learn about 400 years of quilt history, see stunning photos of some of the finest historic and contemporary quilts ever made, and talk directly to a textile curator from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Ready to dive into quilt history together? Keep reading for all the details of the Suzy Quilts Book Club!
Suzy Quilts Book Club Selection
Our first ever book club selection is Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories, a gorgeous coffee table book that accompanies the exhibit of the same name that opens this week at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA).
Fabric of a Nation is a 240-page collection of quilts, coverlets, weavings, and bedcovers that tell stories not just about textiles but also about American history. Organized into six chronological chapters, Fabric of a Nation includes large photographs of over 50 quilts accompanied by writing about each quilt’s history from textile curators at the MFA.
Here’s why you need this book. Good quilt history books are notoriously hard to find. Once they’re out of print, their used prices can be astronomical if they even are available used. Adding a book like Fabric of a Nation, which chronicles American quilt history from the 17th century through today, to your bookshelf is an investment you won’t regret. Taking a tour through centuries of beautiful quilts any time you want is exciting!
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Order Your Copy of Fabric of a Nation Today!
You can order your copy of Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories on Amazon or through the MFA shop. The book is large and mail carriers are currently experiencing delivery delays, so order your book now to make sure you have plenty of time to keep up with our book club schedule!
Suzy Quilts Book Club Schedule
- Introduction, October 8: Order Fabric of a Nation
- Book Club Sew Along, November 5: Make a DIY Quilted Bookmark!
- Discussion Part 1, November 18: We will discuss Chapters 1-3, Instagram Live with Laura this week
- Discussion Part 2, December 13: We will discuss Chapters 4-6
- Live Q+A, December date to be announced: Laura will interview Jennifer Swope, Associate Curator of Textile and Fashion Arts for the MFA, Boston, and moderate a discussion based on your questions!
We'll be running the book club just like our sew alongs. No need to sign up! Just order your copy of the book and you're in.
We will discuss the book in blog comments on future book club blog posts, using the #SuzyQuiltsBookClub hashtag on Instagram, and in the Suzy Quilts Patterns Facebook group to make sure everyone can participate! We'll also have two Instagram LIVES to chat together!
Your Book Club Host
Your host for the Suzy Quilts Book Club is me, Laura Hopper! You may know me best as the Managing Editor and Communications Director for Suzy Quilts, or from my previous Suzy Quilts blog posts. But did you know that I’m also a historian and museum curator?
I care passionately about quilt history and have been fortunate to curate several quilt exhibits during my career, including my most recent exhibit “Warm Remembrances: Quiltmaking and Memory Making,” presented by the Quilt Alliance.
I’ve always wanted to host a quilt history book club to help other quilters capture the same excitement I feel about quilt history, and we’ve actually been working on developing a Suzy Quilts Book Club behind the scenes for months.
When I ordered my copy of Fabric of a Nation, I was blown away by the quality of the book and the scope of the history it explores. I couldn’t wait to show the book to Suzy! We thumbed through the entire book together and decided it would be the perfect book to launch the Suzy Quilts Book Club.
I’m excited to read this book with you and I can’t wait for all the quilt history discussions we will have!
About the Fabric of a Nation Exhibit
In Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) has brought together more than 50 remarkable textiles to trace both quilt history and American history. As they say, “The exhibition explores how the quilt, which is often seen today as a timeless, quintessentially ‘American’ art form, has in fact continuously evolved, shaped by a broadly underrecognized diversity of artistic hands and minds.”
To God and Truth, 2019, Bisa Butler. Image courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Bricklayer or Courthouse Steps quilt, about 1955, Creola Bennett Pettway or possibly Georgianna Bennett Pettway. Image courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
“Fabric of a Nation represents the MFA’s ongoing commitment to widen our perspectives and to reconsider longstanding notions of what constitutes American art and the American experience,” said Matthew Teitelbaum, Ann and Graham Gund Director. “With this exhibition, we invite our visitors to consider not only the objects themselves, but also the stories of their makers and the narratives—often left untold for too long—that they wish for us to remember.”
Hoosier Suffrage quilt, before 1920, unidentified artist. Image courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Survivors, 2011-2013, Carla Hemlock. Image courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
The exhibit and book feature historic quilts by well-known quilters Harriet Powers, Florence M. Cowden Peto, the quilters of Gee’s Bend, and many by lesser-known and anonymous makers. Contemporary quilters featured include Bisa Butler, Sanford Biggers, Faith Ringgold, Nancy Crow, Tomie Nagano, Carla Hemlock, and more.
Fabric of a Nation is open at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston from October 10, 2021-January 17, 2022.
Order your copy of the Fabric of a Nation book today and join us for the Suzy Quilts Book Club!
A Century of Progress, 1933, Richard H. Rowley and possibly Louise Rowley. Image courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.