I love hearing the stories of how people learned about quilts and what made them fall in love. Some of us grow up with quilting in our families and remember their warmth and comfort. For Bill Volckening, his love for quilts started as a way to decorate his house. With a background in visual arts via Rhode Island School of Design, the School of Visual Arts and New York University / International Center of Photography, an applique quilt festival in Philadelphia, PA and Gee’s Bend exhibit at the Whitney Museum exposed Bill to a different side of textile art. The combination of the beauty of quilts and their evolving utility made them the perfect medium for artistic exploration.
Here are some of the quilts in his collection:[one_third][/one_third][one_third][/one_third][one_third_last][/one_third_last]
As the self-proclaimed “quilt magnet”, Bill started collecting quilts while working in the publishing industry. As soon as he let others know about his collection, a whirlwind of activity commenced. Bill published New York Beauty about one of his first quilts in his collection. Next year, his new book Modern Roots: Today’s Quilts from Yesterday’s Inspiration will be published. He has also exhibited at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, Quilt Con 2015 and more. His passion for quilts has lead him to make his own and he continues to explore the many facets of quilt history including his latest exhibit at the Latimer Quilt and Textile Center on Hawaiian scrap quilts called, “Kalakoa, Discovering the Hawaiian Scrap Quilt”.
By collecting, making and appraising quilts, Bill is keeping our quilt history alive and accessible. It is hard not to want to learn more from him. During our conversation, we talk about why he started his collection, the beauty of imperfect quilts, his books and his prediction about the latest trend in the quilting world.
How to Listen:
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Notes from the Show:
“Eureka Moment” by Bill Volckening (Why Quilts Matter)
Lutisha Pettway (Gee’s Bend quilter)