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 here. 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
- Discussion Part 1, November 18: We will discuss Chapters 1-3 in a new blog post, and Laura will host an Instagram LIVE at 7:30pm Central
- Discussion Part 2, December 13: We will discuss Chapters 4-6 in a new blog post, and Laura will host an Instagram LIVE at 7:30pm Central
- 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 from the blog post and our previous Instagram LIVE!
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.
43 thoughts on “Announcing the Suzy Quilts Book Club!”
Fabulous! I’m so excited that you are doing this and will be joining!
Thanks for joining, Vicki! It’s going to be a blast!
This is absolutely great! Just ordered the book! Count me in
Fabulous idea-just ordered the book & am looking forward to it.
Yayy, I love Bisa Butler. The quilt on the cover is my Alma Mater Morris Brown College baseball team. Great first book club choice.
How cool, Kymona, thanks for sharing that! The book is excellent and we hope you’ll be joining us in the book club too!
Just ordered the book, you are combining my two favorite pastimes, quilting and reading with book club buddies!
That’s excellent Carol! Reading and quilting are my favorite things too!
This looks great. I don’t use Facebook or Instagram, so I will enjoy the book on my own. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.
It’s definitely great! We’ll also be discussing the book in blog comments, as noted under the book club schedule, so feel free to join the conversation in future book club blog posts! I’ll be posting discussion questions on the blog and we can chat in the comments just like this 🙂
My book is on the way and I am so excited to be a member of this group. This will be a good calming activity during the upcoming holiday season. Thanks Suzy Quilts for organizing this club.
You’re welcome! Hope you love the book as much as we do, it’s beautiful 🙂
This is my first book club I’ve joined! I’m looking forward to it and to have a guest museum curator and your expertise will make it especially rich. Thanks!
We hope everyone will enjoy all there is to learn! I’m happy that this is your first book club, and we hope to do more Suzy Quilts Book Clubs in the future!
Is a sign up required?
No sign up required! Just order your copy of the book and you’re in!
Awesome! Just ordered my copy 🙂 I’m a relatively new quilter and I’m excited to learn more about the history behind the art!
So glad you’re joining us! There is always so much to learn about quilt history!
I’m confused. How do I actually join the book club? Or do I just buy the “Fabric of a Nation” book and join the discussions?
Yep, you’ve got it! No sign up required, just like our sew alongs. Just order the book and you’re in! Then we’ll discuss in the comments section of future book club blog posts, social media, and Instagram Live 🙂
Hi Laura, What a wonderful idea. I just ordered my book. I saw a piece about .Bisa Butler on CBS Good Morning, and I’m going to read the article about her that you folks did. I LOVE bright, bold colors in a quilt, and her portraiture skills are amazing. During the pandemic I’ve developed an interest in the history of quilting, so I’m really looking forward to the discussions about Fabric of a Nation. Thank you for starting this club.
Hi Sandi, sounds like this is perfect for you! I love that you have a growing interest in quilt history and hope you’ll enjoy learning more during the book club! 🙂
Hi Laura, Yesterday’s mail brought my copy of Fabric of the Nation, YAY! Amazon had delivery date would be Nov 29th, but it was here by Oct 18th. Somebody miscalculated. Looking forward to begun reading it.
What a wonderful book! I ordered mine today from Amazon.ca. But I won’t get it until late November🙁. Does that matter? Will you be sending reminders before each event? I have recorded in my calendar, but…. Will we able to follow everything on Facebook? I don’t know how to do Instagram. I have been quilting off and on for 50 years. I am an American, married to a Canadian, and have lived in Canada for 50 years. So I learned and fell in love with quilting in Canada, but I love reading about the history of quilts in my homeland. Looking forward to all of this!
Hi Peggy! Not to worry, there will be blog posts about the book on each of the days listed in the schedule and we’ll include those in our newsletter as well. The blog posts will always be on the SQ website too, so if the book comes late you’ll still be able to participate in the discussion in the blog comments! We’ll have a thread for discussion in the Facebook group as well, just like how I post about the sew along each week 🙂 Hope that helps!
Yay! My book is on it’s way!
That’s great! Can’t wait for you to see it!
I’m glad to see I’m not the only one not using Instagram and facebook. Thanks for having some discussions through the blog : this is exciting!
You’re welcome! We’re happy to talk here on the blog, it’ll be where I post our discussion questions and ask people to reply in the comments!
This sounds exciting- I’ll be joining you!
Excellent, so glad about that!
Bought the book; this bookmark will be my first ‘quilt’.
One Q: I am definitely the nerd who has the book and started to read! My questions: The schedule says Chapters 1-3, but the book isn’t broken into chapters, but rather titles of individual topics. How to proceed? Thanks!
Hi Lissa! The first three chapters are titled Ships & Hands, Canals & Cotton Gins, and Railroads & Power Looms. Those are the first chapters we will discuss! Hope you’re enjoying the book already!
I am looking forward to this book club. It’s great to be a part of a group learning about the history of quilting, and of our nation. Perfect timing. Thank you. My book is on its way!
Just When I thought I couldn’t love Suzy Quilts more! I really love reading about quilts and their history. I ordered my book and can’t wait to get it!
That’s so nice! We’re delighted that you’re joining the book club!
Hi Laura, I just had to share this with the group. I ordered my copy of Fabruc of a Nation, when I first read about the book club on Oct 8th, from Amazon. I just got an email that is was shipped as of today, Oct. 13th. It’s being shipped thru USPS. I could not yet set the package up for tracking, because just the label was created. But according to Amazon, the expected delivery date is NOV 29th! I remember seeing someone say shipping took a while, but wow. We’ll see how long it really takes!
Here’s hoping that was a typo! I’m sure they must have meant October, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed!
I just saw this book club post. I’m looking forward to joining along. The book was already in my “shopping basket”. Now I could justify my purchase.
So happy to have found your website, and excited to learn about the book club. This is just what I need to merge my love of quilting and history. I listened to A Quilting Life podcast today and learned about this exhibition and the book. I’ve ordered my copy and now I can stalk the mail carrier until it arrives. A fabulous idea!
So, what will the times be on Instagram for book discussions? I have got the dates. How is the quilted bookmark supposed to work? will that be on the blog today?
Hi Marybeth! The bookmark post has been delayed due to me taking time off this week because of a family emergency. It’s being rescheduled, and will be announced soon! There will be more info about the IG Live in the next book club discussion post coming on November 18 🙂 Thanks!