Library of Congress


The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Collection Connections > Quilts and Quiltmaking in America

[Detail] 1994 Judges' Choice Winner; Susan's Fan.

2) Toward a Modern Culture and Economy

The collection provides first-hand evidence of the modernization of the American economy and culture throughout the twentieth century. Searching on craft, sell, cutaways, Sears Roebuck, and Mountain Mist locates interviews in which Blue Ridge quilters note the effects of an expanded economy and increased commercialization upon quilting. Students will also get a sense of the changes of modernization by comparing the work of the Lands' End quilters with that of the Blue Ridge quilters. Students can access photographs of the Blue Ridge quilters and their work in the Gallery of Photographs and find the interviews in the Sound Recordings. Information about the Lands' End contest and photographs of the winning quilts with accompanying notes can be found in the special presentation, The Lands' End All-American Quilt Contest.

 "I like to use cotton fabrics"

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 "As long as you can coordinate your colors..."

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  • How did catalogs and magazines such as Sears Roebuck and Mountain Mist change quilting?
  • What evidence can you find of an expanding economy and modern culture in the differences between the Blue Ridge quilters and the Lands' End quilters?
  • What materials, designs, and techniques did each group of women use?
  • What were their motivations for quilting? What were their influences?
  • How were their quilts used? Were they sold? For how much money?
  • How much variety of materials, designs, motivations, and styles was there among each group of quilters?