There are many different ways to tell stories.
Writers write. Artists paint. Sculptors sculpt. Poets rhyme. And quilters make quilts.
Although we don’t typically stumble across history books about the bedspreads that keep us warm at night, some local quilters are hoping to change that by revealing the craft’s rich artistic past.
The Quilt Alliance will visit Lodi on April 2-3 as part of a Quilt Story Roadshow education and outreach tour. The alliance is a nonprofit organization that supports and develops projects to preserve and share quilt history.
“We know that our grandmother or our great-grandmother (for example) made a quilt, but we don’t know why, when or the story behind it,” said Trish Frankland, co-director of the Lodi Women’s Club Public Library and program coordinator of the Lodi Valley Quilter’s Guild.
Executive Director of the alliance, Amy Milne, will present the lecture, “No More Anonymous Quiltmakers,” to the guild on April 2 at 6:30 p.m. at the Lodi Good Samaritan Society. The lecture will focus on the importance of quilt labeling, photography and documentation. Frankland said all are invited to attend the lecture.
“There’s a lot of motivations for why you take up quilting as a craft and it’s interesting to hear about that, whether it’s family history or tradition… whether it’s an artistic thing,” Frankland, a quiltmaker herself, said. “For me, it’s about when two fabrics touch one another and you get a secondary pattern, though I come at it from more of a geometric and artistic standpoint.”
On April 3, the LVQG will conduct a quilt documentation day at the library from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Milne and guild volunteers will record “Go Tell It!” three-minute video segments with quilt makers and owners, to ensure that the history of the quilts is preserved for current and future generations.
“I have seen the alliance at quilt shows recording these kinds of videos before,” Frankland said. “It’s always interesting to have a creator in front of their quilt talking about the story behind it.”
Frankland said anyone who would like to share a quilt’s story on April 3 must reserve a timeslot of a video interview. She encourages all quilters in the Lodi area and around to sign up. There is no cost.