Sunday, January 15, 2012

Quilts in the Attic, by Karen Musgrave

"Night Flight" 1982 by Andrea Leong Scadden, aka Andrea Balosky
I'm so excited about the new book "Quilts in the Attic: Uncovering the Hidden Stories of the Quilts We Love" by Karen Musgrave. It's not just because one of the quilts in my collection is included in the book, it's really the whole idea of it. All quilts have stories, whether we know the whole story or not, but I don't think anyone has done a quilt storybook the way Karen has.

The book description from Amazon says, "As both history and art, quilts help express the human experience and can lead quilters to discoveries about themselves, about the past, and about the artistic creation as a whole. Quilts in the Attic features 30 heartwarming stories of great quilt discoveries - from bidding on a breathtaking quilt at an estate auction in Virginia to uncovering a little-known art form in France to finding and repairing a priceless heirloom quilt that had been used, neglected, and damaged, these stories from everyday stitchers and well-known quilters alike reveal the mystery and meaning of the quilts we love."

One of these stories is "An Unexpected Gift" and is about the day I was given two important art quilts by a mysterious woman who emerged from the crowd at the 35th Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, Oregon. The woman, who turned out to be known quilter Andrea Balosky, gave me so much more than a pair of quilts that day, but you'll have to read the book for the whole story.

Most books about quilts are really more like picture books. Some include text about the quilts, their makers, and other information to contextualize the quilts. Karen's book is really a storybook. It includes a color plate of each quilt, but it has much more text than pictures. As it turns out, there's a lot to say about each of the quilts in the book! Available on Amazon, to preview and order, click here.


  1. Thanks for the info about this book. I don't need another how-to quilt book in my house. But I can't get enough of the historical books and the story books about quilts and quilters. This book looks too tempting to ignore. In fact, I just ordered it. Looking forward to my new acquisition, and thanks for the recommendation.

    I've read before about Andrea Balosky and her very interesting life. If you're the owner of one of her creations, you're indeed a fortunate person.

  2. Vivian, I know you'll enjoy it. I've actually got five of Andrea's quilts now, made between 1982 and 2011. One was made especially for me. So yes, I'm extremely fortunate. But beyond the quilts, I'm a better person for knowing Andrea.

  3. Hey, this looks like a great read, and I need some fresh reading material. Thanks for the heads up!

  4. I have the book! I can't wait to read your story as you know I have become VERY FOND of Andrea's work too.