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Kentucky's contribution to the perennially popular American craft of quiltmaking is a rich and varied one. Mary Clarke examines here the state of the craft in Kentucky and finds it as lively today as it was 150 years ago.

Like a fingerprint, every Kentucky quilt differs from all others in some respects, whether it is an original creation or a variation of one of the traditional patterns long popular in the United States. And many Kentucky quilts reveal much about the individual maker—her disposition, taste, and lifestyle, the familiar objects that bring joy to her daily life, and her response to events beyond the confines of family and home.

Taken as a whole, Kentucky quilts and quilt names reflect the history of the Commonwealth, at every turn showing the intermingling of old and new in the grassroots continuity of an ancient craft that responds to fads and fashions by absorbing and refining them.

Mary Washington Clarke is emeritus professor of English and folklore at Western Kentucky University.

"Tells us much about the quiltmaker and therefore more about the quilt itself—its personality, its intrinsic qualities, its ‘heart.’"—Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine

"If you have admired quilts airing on wash lines, displayed at craft fairs, or proudly spread on your neighbors' beds, then you should read Mary Washington Clarke's Kentucky Quilts and Their Makers."—Kentucky Folklore Record

Publication Date



The University Press of Kentucky

Place of Publication

Lexington, KY






Quilting, Quiltmakers, Kentucky


Art and Design

Kentucky Quilts and Their Makers
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