“Part textile history, part genealogy, and part detective story, this book shares Cummings’s research journeys while giving the reader a look into life in southwestern Ohio around the end of the 19th century.”
Maine Antiques Digest
“Every once in a while a book crosses my desk that leaves me flipping through the pages in amazement and delight. This is one such book, documenting more than 30 examples of album quilts in a small section of the Miami Valley in west-central Ohio....”
“The book’s author couldn’t be better qualified to present this subject … Cummings puts her impeccable research skills to work, creating a well-documented, engagingly told tale. … This attractive, colorful, and abundantly illustrated book doubly serves as an interesting read and a valuable reference.”
“In moving beyond the artifacts themselves, Cummings weaves the artifacts into the fabric of the community that produced them.…The illustrations are beautiful and add to the richness of the text.”
From 1888 to 1918, a community of Miami Valley neighbors and relatives made album presentation quilts to celebrate life passages. Their sharing of designs and construction techniques led to the development of a distinctive regional quilt style that has never been duplicated in any other region of the state or country. Sue C. Cummings documents several unique characteristics of the Miami Valley album quilts, such as the appliquéd Ohio Eagle and other design motifs. Nowhere else in the United States have so many similar eagles been documented in such a specific time period and in such a narrow locale. While other areas have their unique quilt patterns and traditions, Cummings’s documentation and collection of this remarkable grouping is a landmark moment in quilting history.
Album Quilts of Ohio’s Miami Valley presents more than two dozen never-before-published color photographs of these folk art album quilts. Relying on thirty-five years of research, Cummings builds the case for each quilt from family genealogies and interviews, census records, local histories, and cemetery visits. Quilt historians, as well as genealogy and history buffs, will value the book as an inspired “how-to” guide for its impeccable research and for Cummings’s ingenious tracking down of the clues in the sometimes hidden messages in the quilting. Beautifully illustrated and affordably priced in a paperback edition, this book is a valuable addition to the Ohio Quilt Series and will appeal to quilt researchers across the country who may discover a quilt from the Miami Valley of Ohio far from its place of origin.
Sue C. Cummings is a quilt collector and researcher whose specialty is Ohio textiles.
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