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  • Writer's pictureTerri Tomoff

History Outside the Quilt Box

When SoCo's (Southern Comforters of Bowie-Crofton, Maryland Quilt Guild) program chair, Debbi Carter, invited T Carter back for a guild lecture, we were all in. T Carter is a historian and fiber artist and lectures all over the East Coast. Last January, she gave a lecture and trunk show on embellishments. We were all fascinated with her authentic quilts and story-telling techniques.

The lecture last night was Dreispitz, meaning three corners in German. This is how T explains it on her website:

Do you remember...wringer washing machines, enamel coffee pots, flour & feed sacks, and outhouses?

Through memory quilts, T tells the story of her family's immigration to the United States from Dreispitz, Russia (intermingling of Russians and Germans, including languages and food).

What I found interesting was how T created quilts using genealogy information going back three and four generations, including ship manifests, census data, and photographs in her quilts. These are genuine legacy quilts and are outstanding! Her cute husband, Joe, white-gloved and best helper-outer in setting up and taking down the show, walked each quilt around the hall while T continued speaking about each piece presented.

T encouraged all of us to think about our own histories, perhaps using quilts to showcase where we all originated from through art forms. It is certainly something to consider besides old photographs stuck in boxes and other information about our ancestors hidden from view.

A BIG SHOUT of THANKS to T and her husband, Joe. They did a terrific job telling stories of their heritages - warts and all. I'm a fan of family histories - now knowing we can do all that telling through fiber artistry!



Photos: 1) T Carter; 2) Joe and T; 3) Ancestry Quilt; 4) Family Tree; 5) The Garden in Minnesota (where her grandparents immigrated to since it was cold like Russia); 6) T, Debbi Carter modeling a feedsack apron and Joe.


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