Quilt Programs

Quilt Programs


Mary Black’s Family Quilts: a 30-60 minute slide program tracing one family’s quilts through many generations. The result of seven years of meticulous research, the personalities, relationships, and values of the women emerge through the quilts, family letters, and interviews with descendants. Here’s an opportunity to understand the changing meanings and functions of quilts from the 19th century to the present.
Dancing, Quiltmaking, and Community: a 30-60 minute slide program about quilts made by people who claim that they are not quiltmakers. Counter-culture contra dancers in Atlanta developed a tradition of making over forty wedding and baby quilts for each other over a twenty-year period, but none of them make quilts on their own. This program will cause you to rethink what you thought you knew about contemporary quiltmaking.
Quilts: The Irish Connection: a 30-60 minute slide presentation based on a 1991 research trip to study quilts in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Meet contemporary quilters in their homes, see Irish art quilts on exhibition, view rarely-shown historic quilts owned by museums and collectors, and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Social Fabric: South Carolina’s Traditional Quilts: a 30-60 minute slide lecture exploring traditional quilt styles in the state from 1800 to the 1980s. This popular presentation features information on the lives of the makers, as well as the influences of geography and history upon community traditions and quiltmaking styles.
My Life and Quilts: A 30-60 minute slide lecture and trunk show exploring the development of Laurel’s work, both in making quilts and studying historic quilts, since 1975. Laurel’s quilts are characterized by humor, spontaneity, and the use of unconventional and “found” fabrics.
Swedish Quilts, Old and New: a 30-60 minute slide lecture based on a research trip to Sweden in 2000. Includes images of quilts from museum collections, in Swedish homes, and from the annual meeting of the Swedish Quilters’ Guild, along with the scenery and architecture from this beautiful country.


All workshops are available as either 3-hour or 6-hour sessions unless otherwise noted. Classes are designed to include quiltmakers of all levels, including beginners.
Flexible and Free: String Patchwork: Instruction in a versatile traditional technique that is super-simple, does not require great skill, yet produces spectacular results. Use up scraps from other projects while making your own one-of-a-kind creations. Great for beginners and a creative play session for more experienced quilters!
Making Beautiful Quilts From Ugly Fabrics: Does your fabric collection include some real dogs that don’t go with anything else? Laurel presents ten basic principles for using garish, outmoded, orphan, or otherwise unusable fabrics and shows examples from her own work. Participants bring their own “uglies” to trade or to get ideas for using to make exciting quilts. Also bring those fabrics you’d really like to use but haven’t figured out how! (3-hour only, or may be easily combined with String Patchwork for a 6-hour class.)
Be the Quiltmaker You Want to Be: This personal development seminar is aimed toward quilters who want to make better use of their time, energy, and creativity. Laurel will provide thought-provoking insights and lead you through exercises designed to help you set goals and priorities and to manage your time more effectively. This workshop could change your life! (3-hour only)
Your Quilt’s Place in History: Laurel will examine and interpret quilts brought by participants, providing information on fabrics, patterns, styles, and techniques. She will ascribe approximate dates of construction and explain how these quilts fit in with others of the period. She will offer basic suggestions for cleaning and storage. Gain new understanding of your family heirlooms or thrift shop treasures through informal sharing! (3-hour only)
Special class for larger events and quilt projects: “How to Interview Quilters.” This special class will train you to conduct effective recorded interviews with traditional or contemporary quilters or with their descendants. The class will cover both the technical and personal preparation required for successful results. Designed for individuals or groups who wish to collect information from people for research, publication, archival preservation, or personal interest. (The ideal schedule for this class is 1 ½ or 2 days, although other configurations can be negotiated. Participants should have tape recorders available for hands-on practice, and these could be shared.)


Lecture $400
3-hour workshop $400
6-hour workshop $550
Oral Interview workshop: (1 ½-2 days) $700
Travel expenses are additional. Travel is figured from Seneca, South Carolina, and the nearest airport is Greenville/Spartanburg (GSP) which is 50 miles away. Generally I prefer to make my own arrangements and to be reimbursed, unless the sponsor wishes otherwise. Accommodations in a private (nonsmoking) home or a modest hotel are fine.

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