Mississippi Quilt Association volunteers displaying quilt made by Virginia Allen in Adams County, MS, 1885.
Mississippi Heritage Quilt Search
This statewide search for quilts made before 1946
took four years and produced documentation on 1,769 quilts. A
volunteer team from the Mississippi Quilt Association held 19
search days from 1995 to 1997 to cover the state geographically.
Local volunteers assisted with registration and interviews while
quilting experts on the core team, with an extensive knowledge of
the history of fabric, dyes, quilt patterns, and batting, analyzed
and recorded detailed information, including quilt patterns,
stitches per inch, and fabric. Each quilt was photographed on
special frames that traveled with the team, and personal stories
told by quilt owners were recorded. The resulting documentation has
been archived in both computerized files and hard copies with the
Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Photographs of 30
to 35 quilts and their makers will become a traveling exhibit in
May 2000, and a book on the findings is scheduled for publication
The quilt search unearthed some interesting stories
from quilt owners. A quilt owner told how the quilt maker, her
great-grandmother, hid the quilt in a hollow log near her home
during the Civil War when she heard the Yankees were coming. An
African-American quilt owner from Magnolia, Mississippi, brought in
five quilts made in the last quarter of the 1800s. Some of the
quilts, made by the first female in the owner's family to be born
free following the Civil War, have fertilizer sacks used for
backing with the print still showing.
Project documentation includes a 12-page written
report; a quilt documentation survey form, with places to record
information about the quilt itself, its maker, and provenance; a
list of the number of quilts documented by county in Mississippi; a
map of the 19 sites covered; and 15 color slides of quilts covered
by the project.
Originally submitted by: Trent Lott,Senator.
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.