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New Pathways into Quilt History written by Kimberly Wulfert, www.antiquequiltdating.com

Quilt Historian Interview with:
Judy Breneman,
Quilt History Educator

1) How do you prefer to be described as, within the field of textile history?
If you have a business, please tell us about that.

"I write articles for websites that introduce people to the fascinating topic of quilt history. In the process I've discovered that quilt history is a window into the lives of the ordinary women of our past. I have published over 200 quilt history articles and quilt patterns online. I am more a teacher than a historian as I havenít done any original research. I use published information on quilt history as well as what Iíve learned from conferences and discussions with others to write my articles. I include references so if a site visitor wants to learn more on a topic they will know where to look."

2) When and where did you begin your serious interest in the history of quilts, textiles or garments?

"Iíve always been interested in the quilts my grandmother and great grandmother made and when I first searched online for quilt history information in 1996 there was next to nothing on the topic. I began by checking out books from the library to write a few basic articles. A teacher at my local quilt shop had encouraged me to join the American Quilt Study Group. Once I became involved in that many more doors were opened to me in terms of finding information for my articles."

3) What ďknownĒ individual (or group) influenced you most and why?

Pat Means from Spokane taught quilting classes including one on broderie perse that I enjoyed. She told me about the American Quilt Study group. Then I got to know Kimberly Wulfert through our quilt history websites. She has been a great help in getting me involved in the world of quilt history."

4) Who became your personal mentor as you began your learning?

Kim has supported me the most and has helped me connect with others. Books were very much my inspiration as well."

5) What aspect of study were you most passionate about at first? How has this changed over time and why?

"I started out wanting to learn the usual things a person hears about like Amish Quilts, Crazy quilts and the quilts made in the 1930s. Soon I discovered that there was so much more to quilt history that Iíd ever imagined. I had never thought about early quilting and what was made in the 1700s compared to the 1800s. And who would have dreamed that there were such things as quilts made of cigar ribbons or that women of the south made three dimensional pine burr quilts. But most of all quilting led me to discovering what the lives of ordinary women were like over the years. I would say this has become my passion."

6) What is your current ďPet projectĒ

"I donít have a special project going right now. As something comes along that interests me I share it on online."

7) What aspect of your research or contribution to textile studies has satisfied you the most?

"I do enjoy the fact that my websites are visited by people from all over the world and that Iíve been able to help so many find the answers to their quilt history related questions. Itís been fun meeting and talking with so many fellow enthusiasts both online and in person."

8) Within this arena, what would you like to do, but havenít done yet?

"Iíd like to branch out into writing about womenís everyday lives. There is so much more to learn and I certainly admire the ordinary women of our past."

9) Any further comments are invited.

10) Please describe (in a list) the contributions you have made via books, presentations, exhibits, contests, articles, fabric lines, research papers and the like.

Thank you very much, Judy, for sharing your self with us and for the insights we gain because of your efforts in this field. Continued success to you.

* Women (and Men) at Work

© 2006 - 2016 Kimberly Wulfert, PhD. Absolutely no copies, reprints, use of photos or text are permitted for commercial or online use. One personal copy for study purposes is permitted.

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