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

Quilt Historian Interview with:

Julia D. Zgliniec
Appraiser and Quilting Instructor

The text is provided by each interviewee and is unabridged and unedited.

Contact Information

12913 Ave La Valencia
Poway, CA 29064

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 use the title Appraiser because this is currently my main activity. I also enjoy teaching others about quilts, textile history, and appraisal."

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

"My card says " Quiltmaker - Instructor - Appraiser" in that order because I began by making quilts. However, I was soon possessed and began to read everything I could get my hands on regarding quilts and textile history. This passion was discovered in a quilt shop in Poway. CA in 1982. Several years later, the shop owner persuaded me to teach and I found I loved it! Two years later, in 1987, I began to teach for our local community college - a position I held for 14 years.

"In 1990, I decided to put the knowledge I had acquired to use as an appraiser of
quilted textiles and took the skills course offered by The American Quilter's Society. I was certified in 1991. The appraisal process is a challenge I enjoy.  Two years ago, I retired from teaching at the college to devote more time to my appraisal activities and to Quilt San Diego/ Quilt Visions."

3) What “known” individual or group influenced you most and why?

"I was inspired by Jinny Beyer and her early books. I loved her use of fabrics and methods of drafting patterns."

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

"It would be impossible to mention all the individuals whose work I have admired and been influenced by over the years. As an appraiser, I use the information gathered and published by countless historians to identify textiles brought to my table. I put their findings into practice."

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

"In the beginning, I was excited by the endless design possibilities and what could be created with fabric within the format of the quilt. As I studied the traditional quilt styles, I became more and more in awe of the women who created the early masterpieces. Their skills still inspire me. At the same time I was excited by the contemporary Art Quilt movement and pursued this area of study with equal vigor. For me, the study of traditional quilts and textile history provides a context and frame of reference from which to appreciate new work."

6) What is your current “pet project”?

"I retired from teaching with a STACK of unfinished projects - the students got to finish quilts in between semesters - I was already on to the next class project. I am currently trying to finish some of these."

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

"I have been involved with many aspects of our field from Instructor to Appraiser to Fabric Designer. In the early 1990s my friend Dianne Ferguson and I designed 5 lines of reproduction style fabrics (shown on the right) for South Seas Imports division of MMFab. It is very satisfying to see antique fabric patterns from our collections given new life and used both in traditional and non-traditional ways.

"A nomination by my students for Teacher of the Year sponsored by The Professional Quilter was a great compliment and one of which I am very proud.

"I have just finished a second term as President of Quilt San Diego/ Quilt Visions; producers of the Visions quilt exhibitions, and a group I helped found in 1985. My involvement with this organization, dedicated to the promotion of the quilt as art, has been the most challenging. Editing the catalog for the 2002 exhibition has been one of my contributions to the field of textiles."

8) Within this arena, what would you like to do, but haven’t done yet?

"I would like to make more quilts!!!!"

9) Any further comments are invited.

"Appraisal is a challenging field but one that offers many satisfactions. The appraiser never knows what is going to be unfolded on the table. The entire process from examination of the item, identification, market research, to the writing of the final report is like putting together a puzzle. In addition to the family treasures, equally interesting are the stories behind the quilts and quiltmakers. Each textile has a story to tell. I never get tired of the quilts and the stories!"

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

Professional Affiliations

  • American Quilter's Society

  • American Quilt Study Group

  • Back Country Quilter's Guild

  • California Heritage Quilt Project - (former member, no longer active)

  • Canyon Quilter's Guild

  • Professional Association of Appraisers of Quilted Textiles - Charter Board member and Past President

  • Quilt San Diego / Quilt Visions - Charter Board Member - Past President

Exhibition And Publication History

My work has been exhibited in the following shows:

  • San Diego Quilt Show

  • Valley Quilter's Show, Hemet, CA

  • Inland Empire Show, Riverside, CA

  • Flying Geese Quilter's Guild, Irvine, CA

  • Capitol City Quilt Festival, Sacramento, CA, 1986

  • Show Case, Southern California Quilter's, 1986 Quilt Market, Los Angeles, CA

  • San Diego Art Walk, April 1988

  • The 1989 Hoffman Challenge Tour

  • Visions Community Quilt 1994 - Layers Of Excellence

  • The American Quilter's Society Show, Paducah, KY, 1990, 1997, 
    Faculty Exhibit in 1996

  • Pacific International Quilt Festival, Palm Springs, CA, 1996

  • Visions - 1996 - Educational Exhibit

  • 2001 Pilgrim/Roy Invitational Challenge, Opening at the AQS Show, Paducah, KY.

  • Fiber Of Coronado - Quilt Visions Members Invitational Exhibition - 
     Nov 2003, Coronado, CA

My work has been included in the following publications:

  • Quilter's Newsletter Magazine:
         May 1987 - "Beyond Providence"
         Nov/Dec, 1987 - "The Holly and The Ivy"
         Jan 1988 - "Charmed Ogee"
         Dec 1994 - "Layers of Excellence" - The Visions Community Quilt

  • Traditional Quiltworks
         Nov/ Dec 1989 - "Julian Pine Tree"

  • American Quilter
         Winter 1993 - "Imprint Of an Earlier Era: Authentic Prints" by Dianne Kernell

  • Quilt Challenges - c. 1991 - Betty Boink Publishing.

  • The Classic American Quilt Collection - One Patch. 1995. Rodale Press, Inc.

  • Fast and Fun Machine Quilting - c.1998 - Rodale Press, Inc.

  • Design Essentials - c.1998 Lorraine Torrence - That Patchwork Place, Inc

  • American Quilter - Winter 1999 - "Whole-Cloth Techniques By Machine" 
    by Julia D. Zgliniec


Quilt Visions 2002. Edited by Julia D. Zgliniec. 
Published by Visions Publications. San Diego, CA

Quilt Visions Web page: http://www.quiltvisions.org




Julia, you stand out for me in this field because you have immersed yourself and your talents in both ends of quilt history spectrum: from antique and arty to appraising and teaching. I have been to Vision's exhibits over the years. The art quilts exhibited have enthralled and enlightened me, offering hours of viewing pleasure. The exhibit jury picks a wide variety of styles and techniques that grow and change each time. Visions is on exhibition every other year in the winter months, in San Diego county. To me, it's like the West Coast version of Dairy Barn or Quilt National. 

My stash of reproduction fabrics is meant to be saved as a record of our quilt history first, and used secondly. Your and Dianne's fabric line was one of the early reproduction lines to come out for quilters. It was so exciting to see them in the stores and on my shelves! Over the years, I have acquired quilts and tops with fabrics that match your line. I have seen one of the fabrics (the fifth one down) made into a dress at a museum exhibit on pioneers, and also made into men's shirts for sale in a CA retail shop. 

Thank you for all you have done for the quilt world. May 2004 bring you time to quilt! 


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© 2001 - 2015 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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