Yakima Valley Museum
Text and Textile: Quilts and the Construction of the Social Fabric
August 16 - December 23, 2008
The quilt is an American artform; we love quilts for their color, patterns, and displays of fine needlework. Historic quilts send messages to us from the past about the changing role of women in society through their fabrics, their imagery, and the stories they represent. Some quiltmakers, however, left nothing to chance and included actual writing in their quilt designs, recording the specifics of their lives—messages written to future generations.

Lou Cabeen is an art historian, textile artist, and professor at the University of Washington in Seattle. She has always been fascinated by the connections between women, stories, and American quilts. In this exhibition, she has analyzed the actual texts written by the quiltmakers to find evidence of a bygone time, unraveling clues that open a window into our American past. Cabeen, as curator of this exhibition, has played detective to uncover the stories each quilt has to tell about its maker, her world, and her community.


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