Making History: Quilts & Fabric from 1890-1970 by Barbara Brackman
Reviewed by Beverley Buller, 2009 Kansas Notable Books Committee
Making History: Quilts & Fabric From 1890-1970 is a book with Kansas connections but very broad appeal. The book’s author, a recognized authority on quilts, lives in Kansas and credits the libraries at the University of Kansas for much of her historical research. Several of the archival photos in the book feature Kansans — and Kansas quilters, including the author, crafted many of the reproduction quilts.
The broad appeal comes from the fact that the book is beautifully designed and well written with an overarching theme. Endnotes provide evidence of much research. Browsers will enjoy the photos of people, quilts, and fabrics, while serious quilters will appreciate the many patterns contained in the book. It’s also a history book, tracing the evolution of quilt design in the Twentieth Century. It’s practical too. Most Kansans have quilts in their past which this book could help them date.
It should be noted that Brackman has written two other quilt and fabric history books published by C & T Publishing — America’s Printed Fabrics: 1770-1890 (2004) and Facts & Fabrications: Unraveling the History of Quilts & Slavery (2006).
Making History is an essential purchase for most Kansas libraries, but don’t just keep it with the quilting books. Try displaying it and see if its attractive cover and the promise of history don’t draw in members of the general reading public.
If you would like to order this book, please consider ordering from one of the Kansas Center for the Book Affiliates: Book Kansas!, Claflin Books, Town Crier, Watermark Books.