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Pat Ehrenberg

Ripon, WI


Backing: The underside of a quilt.
The middle part of a quilt.
Block patterns:
Patterns on square pieces of fabric. A quilter uses blocks with repeating or alternating patterns on a quilt top.
Circular: In the shape of a circle.
Components: Parts.
Document: To keep a record.
Fine artist:
An artist who makes art for pleasure, not for use.
Guild: A group of people who share the same craft or skill.
Ideologies: (sounds like, eye-dee-AH-lo-gees) Ideas that help guide a group.
Memorial: Something that helps people to remember a person or event.
Memorialize: To create something that helps people to remember a person or event.
Kept safe from injury or harm.
Quilt: A bed cover made from two layers of cloth with padding in between, held together by designed stitching or ties.
Quilt top: The top part of a quilt, usually with a decorative design.
Quilting revival: A period of time around the 1970s when many people became interested in quilts.
Quilting stories: Stories told about a quilt or its making.
Scholar: (sounds like, SKAH-ler) A person who has studied and learned a lot about a particular topic.
Sesquicentennial: (sounds like, ses-kwee-sen-TEN-e-uhl) One hundred and fiftieth.
Thrift: Careful saving; not wasting anything.
Traditional artists: Artists who express cultural traditions in their art.
Vertical: In an up and down direction.

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Journal Questions

QuestionDo you have quilts in your house? Choose one and describe it in words or in a picture. Then tell the story behind the quilt. Give lots of details—tell the who, what, where, when, why and how. If you don’t have a quilt, describe a quilt you could make that would tell a story from your life.

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Resources For Teachers

Book ResourceWith Needle and Thread: A Book About Quilts
By R. Bial, 1996. 48pp.
A favorite book of Pat’s, this text describes different types of quilts and quilting techniques used in the U.S.

Web ResourceQuilts Can Be a Creative Teaching Tool has many classroom ideas for quilts from teachers across the country, including several Wisconsin teachers. This is part of the website for the PBS documentary, “A Century of Quilts,” produced by Wisconsin Public Television.

Web ResourceWhole Cloth is a website with three interdisciplinary units on “Discovering Science and Technology through American History,” i.e., the history of cloth.

Web ResourceGames for National Quilting Day gives teachers lots of ideas for active learning.

Web ResourceTwo sets of resources, History in Quilts and Family and Friendship in Quilts, both from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ EDSITEment, provide lessons and extensive resources for exploring different types of quilts and their uses across cultures and times. A third EDSITEment resource, Stories in Quilts, focuses on the narrative elements of quilts.

Web ResourceQuilters’ S.O.S.—Save Our Stories is a national project that invites people from across the country to interview and record the stories of local quilters. To consider this as a project for your class, download their how-to manual.

Web ResourceThe Wisconsin Quilt History Project has been documenting Wisconsin quilts since 1988. Read about their progress.

Web ResourceQuilting and decorative fabric traditions can be unique to particular cultural groups. Here are some good resources to explore:

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Resources For Students

Wisconsin Quilts—

Web ResourceGo to Quilts and Quiltmaking in America, 1978-1996 from the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress. Do a Keyword search for “Wisconsin” and you’ll find award-winning quilts from Wisconsin quilters from Freedom, Madison, Phillips, Racine and Waukesha.

Web ResourceWant to see quilts made by kids? Go to Quilts and Quiltmaking in America, 1978-1996 from the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress. Do a Keyword search for “Kids Quilt” to find nine award-winning quilts made by kids.

Web ResourcePat belongs to a quilt guild called The Sew Happy Stitchers. Is there a quilt guild in your part of Wisconsin? Check these sites: Wisconsin quilt guilds (1) & Wisconsin quilt guilds (2).

Web ResourceIs there a quilt shop in your town? There may be one even if it’s not listed on this site. Check your phone book!

Book ResourceIs the book Wisconsin Quilts: Stories in Stitches is in your library? It shows two centuries of Wisconsin quilts and tells their stories.

Other Quilts—

Web ResourceWant to see on-line exhibits of quilts? Go to these sites. Remember, you can usually click on the picture of the quilt to make it bigger.

Web ResourceFind out how quilt-making developed over time in the United States with this Timeline of Quilting History in America.

Web ResourceExplore symmetry in quilts with this fun activity on Shape and Space in Geometry from the Annenberg/CPB Math and Science Project.

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Text written by Jamie Yuenger, edited by Anne Pryor.

Sources consulted include fieldwork with Pat Ehrenberg by Jamie Yuenger (2001); and these websites: African-American Quilting Traditions, Center for the Quilt On-Line and History of Quilting.


Wisconsin Folks

For Educators:

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Pat Ehrenberg



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