Learn About Us

Welcome to Quilt Alliance

Quilts Matter!
They tell stories and illuminate our history.
They link generations and foster community.
They are one of the most universally recognized
American art forms.

Today 27 million Americans
are involved in quiltmaking.
Quilts matter!

Our Mission

Quilt Alliance is a nonprofit 501c3 organization established in 1993 whose mission is to document, preserve, and share our American quilt heritage by collecting the rich stories that historic and contemporary quilts, and their makers, tell about our nation's diverse peoples and their communities.

In support of this mission, the Alliance brings together quilt makers and designers, the quilt industry, quilt scholars and teachers, and quilt collectors to further the following goals:

  • to promote the understanding of the quilt as an important American grassroots art form

  • to make information about quilts available to a broad public

  • to educate Americans about the importance of documenting quilts and quiltmakers so that their stories will not be lost

Read about the history of the Alliance here.

Our Administration and Supporters

The Alliance is managed by Executive Director Amy Milne and a Board of Directors made up of 25 dedicated individuals representing the broad quilt community who volunteer their time to guide, govern, and support AAQ's work.

Project Task Forces: Short-term committees made up of Quilt Alliance board members, regional center staff, and interested volunteers that help coordinate, develop, and implement Alliance projects.

Advisory Council: A group of individuals around the country who provide key funding, assistance, and fund-raising support to Quilt Alliance for its projects.

Business Supporters: Companies associated with the quilt industry and market who support AAQ's mission by providing project and web sponsorship, grant funding, and marketing tie-ins.

Our Partners

AAQ has formal partnership arrangements with two academic institutions: the Great Lakes Quilt Center at the Michigan State University Museum in East Lansing, Michigan, and Winedale, a division of The Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin, Texas.

These two centers implement Alliance projects within their geographic regions and take leadership roles in coordinating one or more Alliance projects at the national level. Both centers also maintain extensive quilt and quilt history collections, offer public programs on quilts, and facilitate quilt research.

Our Home On-Line

Our website is the on-line "home" through which Quilt Alliance communicates the rich materials that result from its many projects. All content on our website can be enjoyed by the public. We make the interviews, stories, quilt records, and web portraits developed through our projects available online to view freely. Through our web projects, the Alliance strives to inform, educate, and connect people everywhere with America's quilt heritage.

Our Work

Quilters' S.O.S. - Save Our Stories - Our national grassroots oral histories capture the stories and culture of today's quilt makers. This project includes transcribed interviews and photographs and a downloadable, easy-to-use how-to manual. Hundreds of Q.S.O.S. interviews and transcripts are archived at the Library of Congress American Folklife Center, where they are available for research

Quilt Treasures - Oral history based "web portraits" documenting the lives, work, and influence of leaders of the American quilt revival of the 1960's and 1970's. This project was developed by Quilt Alliance in partnership with the Great Lakes Quilt Center at the Michigan State University Museum, MATRIX: Center for Humane Arts, Letters, and Social Sciences Online at Michigan State University, and the Library of Congress American Folklife Center.

The Quilt Index - This on-line repository provides access to documentation and digital images of individual quilts held privately or in public institutional collections. An estimated 50,000 quilts will be accessible through the Quilt Index by the end of 2008. The Quilt Index (www.quiltindex.org) is a joint project of Quilt Alliance and Michigan State University through MATRIX and the MSU Museum. The Quilt Index is being implemented with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute for Museum and Library Services. Contributors from across the country are including their quilt images and documentation.

Boxes Under the Bed™- This project is designed to educate the public about the importance of identifying, preserving, and making accessible the archives and ephemera of quilt history. The project, currently being developed, will offer several methodologies, including a Boxes website tutorial about making quilt history documentation accessible for research in an institutional setting; sharing examples of quilt history ephemera through digital displays in a browsing gallery on our website; and training local researchers to identify and rescue quilt-related documentation in need of preservation. Quilt Alliance is partnering mainly with Winedale, The Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin and also with MSU Museum to develop this project.

H-Quilts- This online, moderated discussion list fosters and makes possible the continuous sharing among individuals engaged in quilting research and documentation. It provides a forum for raising issues, reporting findings, and sharing information about quilt exhibitions, collections, publications, research projects, and other topics within a virtual worldwide community of subscribers. This network, a community of H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences OnLine, was developed by Quilt Alliance with American Quilt Study Group and Michigan State University.