Quilting, once regarded as a traditional craft, has broken through the barriers of history, art and commerce to become a global phenomenon, international multi-billion dollar industry and means of gendered cultural production. In Quilting, sociologist and quilter Marybeth C. Stalp explores how and why women quilt.This close ethnographic study illustrates that women's lives can be transformed in often surprising ways by the activity and art of quilting. Some women who quilt as a leisure pastime are too afraid to admit to being a quilter for fear of ridicule; others boldly identify themselves as quilters and regard it as part of their everyday lives.The place of quilting in women's lives affects core family and personal identity issues such as marriage, childcare, friendship and aging. The book's accessible and intimate portrayal of real quilters' lives provides a fabric for the sociology, anthropology and textile student to understand more about wider issues of cultural production and identity that stem from this very personal pastime.
Marybeth C. Stalp is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Northern Iowa.
Chapter I: Introduction: Why Quilting? Why Quilts Matter ... The (Recent) Global Quilting Phenomenon What is a Quilt, Anyway? Cultural Production in the Economic Sphere The Sociology of Culture and the Culture of Non-Economic Cultural Production Chapter II: Tripping through the Tulips: Doing Research Close to Home Using Feminist Methods to Study Contemporary U.S. Quilters Local Knowledge and Grounded Theory Methods and Data When Quilting is Enough: Immediate Commonalities through Quilting Piecing Together My Personal and Professional Selves Gendered Assumptions about Quilting and Fieldwork How Long Did it Take You to Make That Quilt? How Many Quilts Have You Made? Revealing My Quilting and My Self When Quilting is Not Enough: Tripping through the Tulips of an Academic Career Chapter III: It's Not Just for Grannies Anymore: Learning to Quilt at Midlife Learning to Quilt as an Adult, and Not on your Mother's Knee Quilting Heritage The Skipped Generation of Quilters New Quilters Midlife Women and Quilting Subjective Careers Learning to Quilt at Midlife Becoming a Self-Identified Quilter Affirming a Subjective Career in Quilting Quilting as Identity Work Extending the Self: Quilts as Finished Products Chapter IV: The Guilty Pleasures of the Fabric Stash Quilting and Fabric Collecting Starting a Fabric Collection Stashing Fabric The Stigmatized Stash and Hiding One's Quilting Identity Quilters' Families as Greedy Institutions Can The Fabric Stash Ever Come Out of the Closet? Chapter V: Quilt Rhymes with Guilt: Finding the Time & Space to Quilt Quilting Seriously Not Enough Time Not Enough Space Not Having Space Rhymes with Guilt: Finding the Time to Quilt Finally! Negotiating a Room of One's Own From a Room of One's Own to a Life of One's Own? Chapter VI: Coming out of the Closet: Quilting is for Self and for Others Quilting as Carework for Self Quilting as Carework for Others Bookmarking Life Through Quilting Self, Space and Sanity Chapter VII: Piecing it All Together What's So Important About Quilting? Leisure, Carework and the Family Developing a Midlife Identity through Quilting Quilting and Other Creative Processes and Products Quilting as Gendered Non-Economic Cultural Production