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Distributed for University Press of New England

Massachusetts Quilts

Our Common Wealth

The Massachusetts Quilt Documentation Project (MassQuilts) is a volunteer organization that holds “documentation days” across the state to identify, date, and photograph pre-1950 quilts in private and museum collections. Formally organized in 1994, to date 6,000 quilts have been documented (the original goal was 3,000). These quilts provide a window through which to view the history of the state, telling stories of international trade and domestic manufacture, economic booms and busts, national politics, and neighborly discourse. The project focuses on quilts that have a history of original use in Massachusetts. Massachusetts Quilts will present the group’s findings. Essays by experts will lend context to catalogue-like entries on notable quilts. The quilts themselves will star, in over 200 illustrations, most of them rich in color.

360 pages | 8 1/2 x 11


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Table of Contents

Foreword • Acknowledgments • Introduction • HISTORY • Early Quilts and Quilted Clothing • Northeastern Massachusetts: The Crucible • Southeastern Massachusetts: From Pilgrims to Poplins • Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard: Quilting by the Sea • Worcester County: The Heart of the Commonwealth • The Connecticut River Valley: A Rich Heritage • Berkshire County: Rising to the Challenge • The Textile Industry • COMMUNITY • Cooperative Quilting, 1770–1850 • Anti-Slavery Quilts • Agricultural Fairs and Quilts • Politics and Patriotism in Quilts • Lost Towns of the Quabbin • Family Quilts • Immigrant and Ethnic Communities • Quilts in War Time • MEMORY • Quilts as Memory • The Colonial Revival • Notes • Bibliography: Selected Massachusetts Quilts in Other Publications • About the Contributors • Index

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