Reading Instead of Sewing, Again

Facts & Fabrications-Unraveling the History of Quilts & Slavery: 8 Projects 20 Blocks First-Person AccountsFacts & Fabrications-Unraveling the History of Quilts & Slavery: 8 Projects 20 Blocks First-Person Accounts by Barbara Brackman

The history is in summary form, but there are endnotes with further sources.

The book opens with a brief discussion of myth Vs. historical method. This is followed by an abbreviated history of slavery from the beginning of the slave trade to emancipation and migration. Although I am fairly familiar with the topic (having read The Great Migration, I learned some new detail (the migration to the plains). And the quotations from diaries and WPA recorded oral histories added an important dimension.

Brackman links each stage of the history to a quilt block by the name of the block, a story telling method she links with the 20th century. The idea is to create a mnemonic for remembering the history.

The block patterns and quilt layouts are clearly explained and illustrated, but she refers readers to other how-to books for basic quilting instructions. She also includes suggestions for adapting the history and sewing to children (in formal and informal settings)  and includes possible discussion questions.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Reading Instead of Sewing, Again

  1. Her book was at least partly in response to the horrible mythology presented in Hidden in Plain View, by J Tobin and R Dobard, and the Eleanor Burns pattern book that followed it. If you’d like to know more, you can read my post about the “underground railroad quilt code.”
    https://catbirdquilts.wordpress.com/2016/02/23/underground-railroad-quilt-code-2/

  2. I have read several books on this topic, but would love to be able to see some of the actual quilts.

  3. dezertsuz

    It sounds like Barbara’s usual method of handling history – she’s always interesting! I’m really enjoying the Westering Women series, and actually making the blocks, of course. I like that she always includes links to things, diaries, photographs, etc.

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