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TENNESSEE DELTA QUILTMAKING. Teri Klassen. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, 2017. 190 pp. with 105 ills. (30 col.). 26 x 18 cm. LC 2016-31849 ISBN 9781621902706 In English.
Publisher's description: Prior to the 1960s, quiltmaking thrived in the cotton-rich Tennessee Delta as a crucial source of warm bedcovers among cash-poor yet self-sufficient farm households. But as agriculture mechanized, rural workers switched to factory jobs and could afford nicer houses and electric blankets. Quiltmaking survived because women-both black and white-reinvented it as a hobby that met personal and social needs. Though scholars have studied quilt styles with rural southern roots, few have considered black and white quiltmakers together or as part of a shared regional culture. In Tennessee Delta Quiltmaking, Teri Klassen traces how mid-twentieth-century common quilts developed from nineteenth-century styles. Through interviews with people from rural households, Klassen uncovers the ways in which designs and labor were shared and the ways in which quiltmaking was part of the small-farm culture that was common to blacks and whites. While quiltmaking was a creative form passed down in families, limited means and accessible materials (such as home-grown cotton for batting) made it both a necessity and a highly evolved custom in southwestern Tennessee's upper Delta region. For families in this region, the quilt symbolized homemaker competence and self-reliance, a trait especially valued by sharecroppers and tenant-farmers who owned no land.
Indexing: Western — United States, Southeast — 1900-1945, Post-1945 — Textile/Fiber Arts — Naive/Folk/Outsider Art, Women Artists
Plans: 71,30
Worldwide Number: 175837
Paperbound $29.95    

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