This year at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas (November 3-6), a team of volunteers lead by the nonprofit Alliance for American Quilts will interview 64 Texas quiltmakers for the Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories (Q.S.O.S.) oral history project.
The artists to be interviewed are all included in the forthcoming book by Karey Bresenhan and Nancy O’Bryant Puentes, Lone Stars III: A Legacy of Texas Quilts, 1986-2011. Interviews will take place in a dedicated space on the Festival show floor thanks to the generosity and support of Bresenhan and Puentes (two of the four Alliance co-founders) and the staff of
Quilts, Inc., who produce International Quilt Festival and International Quilt Market.
.S.O.S. is a grassroots oral history project launched by the Alliance in 1999 to record, archive and present the stories of today’s quiltmakers. Volunteers record quiltmakers’ stories in “guided conversations” centered on a quilt chosen by the interviewee. The recording is then transcribed by a volunteer and shared on the Alliance’s website, www.AllianceforAmericanQuilts.org/qsos. Q.S.O.S. interviews are then archived by the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Finished Q.S.O.S. interviews now include more than 1,000 conversations with quiltmakers from the U.S. and abroad.
Q.S.O.S. volunteers at Festival will be recording Texas quiltmakers’ stories while following a simple list of standard interview questions. Free training from experienced Q.S.O.S. project staff and volunteers will be provided via instructional videos on the Alliance’s website, www.AllianceforAmericanQuilts.org, available soon, a free Q&A webinar offered on several dates and a review session at Festival on Wednesday, November 2.
All volunteers will receive free admission to the show on the days that they work. Each Team Q.S.O.S. volunteer will also receive a Q.S.O.S. lapel pin and t-shirt, and a goody bag of fabric and notion treats. We will offer special thank you gifts from sponsor Moda Fabrics/United Notions for those who conduct multiple interviews.
A public Q.S.O.S. lecture will also be conducted with quiltmaker, teacher and television and web personality Alex Anderson. Anderson will be interviewed by Meg Cox on Saturday, November 5 at 10:30 am in the Festival Theater (located in the exhibit hall area).
To find out more and register online to volunteer for Team Q.S.O.S. at Festival
Visit the Alliance for American Quilts website:
Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
IQF Q.S.O.S. project is made possible by these generous sponsors:
Moda Fabrics/United Notions
Lisa Ellis, producer of the Sacred Threads Exhibit and maker of Art Call, the online artist registration, jurying and exhibit administration system.
leslietuckerjenison.com and dinnerateightartists.blogspot.com/
Many volunteers are needed. Jobs include: interviewers, scribes, registration desk attendants, photographers, and data entry/backup assistants. This is a grassroots effort; professional experience is not required.