“The quilts are beautiful, the faces worn but kind . . . the insights affecting.” —New York Times Book Review“The women who speak through the book shared a vision, a strength, and a spirit that few of us will ever know or understand.” —Christian Science Monitor“You can’t always change things. Sometimes you don’t have no control over the way things go. Hail ruins the crops, or fire burns you out. And then you’re just given so much to work with in a life and you have to do the best you can with what you’ve got. That’s what piecing is. The materials is passed on to you or is all you can afford to buy . . . that’s just what’s given to you. Your fate. But the way you put them together is your business. You can put them in any order you like.” —Mary White, from the IntroductionFirst published in 1977, The Quilters chronicles the lives and quilts of pioneer women of Texas and New Mexico at the turn of the twentieth century. Compelling black and white portraits of the women accompany their moving oral histories, while thirty-six color photographs showcase the quilts.This award-winning book was the basis of the Broadway play Quilters, nominated for seven Tony Awards.Patricia Cooper taught at the University of California at Berkeley until her death in 1987.Norma Bradley Allen is a freelance writer who lives in Cedar Hill, Texas.
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"A moving oral history of the female pioneer settlers of Texas and New Mexico, this book brings to life the rural homesteads of turn-of-the-century America. The quilts these women make are a lovely compendium of family and community history. As their creators speak to us, we come to appreciate the vital place of women's art in the life of our country."--BOOK JACKET. "This book was the basis of the Broadway play The Quilters."--BOOK JACKET.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
When I was about four years old the neighbor's baby died, and all the women was called in to help. Mama knew what her part was because right away she took some blue silk out of her hope chest. I remember that silk so well because it was special and I got to carry it. When we got to the neighbor's some of the women was cooking and the men was making the casket. Mama and three other women set up the frame and quilted all day. First they quilted the lining for the casket, and then they made a tiny little quilt out of the blue silk to cover the baby.
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