Interview with Ann Horton, November 1, 2002

Quilt Alliance
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00:00:00 - On "Visions of Istanbul"

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Partial Transcript: 2 at three o'clock in the afternoon at the International Quilt Festival in Houston.

Segment Synopsis: "Visions of Istanbul" is a quilt crafted by Horton in celebration of her son's adventures in Istanbul and was inspired by the stories within the letters he wrote to her. The internal block of her Istanbul quilt is Horton's interpretation of a New York Beauty pattern. The quilt is priced at $10,000 and if it is not sold she will hang it in her home.

Keywords: Fabric stash; Guild activities; New York Beauty - quilt pattern

Subjects: Interior decoration

00:04:25 - How did you get started quilting?

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Partial Transcript: So tell me, how did you get to this point in time?

Segment Synopsis: Horton's mother was a sewist and allowed her to use their treadle sewing machine when she was young. In 1983 Horton hand quilted her first full sized bed quilt after the birth of her daughter. It took her six months to complete that first piece.

Keywords: Generational quiltmaking; Treadle Sewing Machine

Subjects: Sewing

00:07:08 - Utility quilts and making quilts with found material

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Partial Transcript: And don't you think that quilts of that time always were more for utility and not for artistry?

Segment Synopsis: Before Horton started the quilts created by her family were primarily utility quilts most often used as bedcoverings. Horton recalls her mother and grandmother crafting with material they had on hand like old clothes and feedsacks.

Keywords: Fabric - Feedsack; Generational quiltmaking; Quilt Purpose - Bedcovering; Quilt Purpose - Utilitarian; everyday use

00:08:08 - Creative outlet in quilting

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Partial Transcript: Well having that background of quilts being a utility, of fulfilling utility functions, how did you come to them as an artistic expression?

Segment Synopsis: Horton is a creative person and was first attracted to quiltmaking because of the opportunity there was to use materials she had on hand. Quilting serves as a way for Horton to create, fosters her love of history, and is a connection to where she's come from.

Keywords: Quilt purpose - Artistic expression; creative outlet

00:09:14 - Generational quiltmaking

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Partial Transcript: Well, was your grandmother the only quilter in your family or is she today?

Segment Synopsis: Horton details her family history with quiltmaking; both of her grandmother's were quilters and her daughter quilts in her own way. Horton's daughter is creative and has created dozens of miniature quilts and enjoys sewing. Horton is hopeful that she will quilt with her daughter in the future.

Keywords: Generational quiltmaking; Grandmother; Parenting; Quilt care; family

00:13:02 - Documenting your work / Quilting process

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Partial Transcript: How many quilts do you think you've made?

Segment Synopsis: Horton has tried to document her hundred plus finished quilts with photographs. Horton both hand quilts and machine quilts and usually has at least one project in each style going at one time.

Keywords: Design process; Digital archiving; Hand applique; Hand piecing; Hand quilting; Machine piecing; Machine quilting; Quilt documentation

Subjects: Machine quilting

00:15:41 - On great quilts / What makes a great quilter

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Partial Transcript: What do think makes a good quilt or a great quilt?

Segment Synopsis: For Horton the greatness of a quilt lies in its use of color, impact on the viewer, and decorative elements. A great quilter is one that is open to exploring their own creativity and comfortable allowing the piece they're creating to lead them on a journey that impacts their artistic choices.

Keywords: Aesthetics; Color theory; Embroidery; Emotional Impact; flow

00:19:13 - How is quilting important to you?

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Partial Transcript: So quilting is important to you because of the self-expression that comes into it.

Segment Synopsis: Quilting is important to Horton because it provides a way for her to communicate with others. The artistic choices she makes in a quilt's creation are the "language" and the final piece is what speaks to the viewer. It speaks for Horton herself and can vocalize the viewer's perceptions as well.

Keywords: Color theory; fabric; texture

00:21:09 - On Ukiah Quilt Guild / Friendships in Quilting

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Partial Transcript: My small quilt group, we have thirteen people in my quilt group.

Segment Synopsis: Horton expounds on some of the successes of her quilt group in recent years. They created a series of vagina quilts inspired by "The Vagina Monologues" and were subsequently featured in HBO's filming of "The Vagina Monologues." The Ukiah Quilt Guild also has received a second place award at the AQS Nashville show in the Ultimate Quilt Guild challenge after submitting ten quilts for consideration. The relationship Horton has with her quilt group is a great influence in her work and life.

Keywords: American Quilter's Society (AQS); Awards; Friendships through quilting; Guild activities; HBO; Quilt guilds; Quilt retreats; quilt series

Subjects: The Vagina Monologues; Ukiah (Calif.); Ukiah Quilt Guild

00:23:31 - Regional and personal influence on quilting

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Partial Transcript: Do you feel that any of your work is regional?

Segment Synopsis: Horton reflects on the pictorial quilts she's made that are representative of her youth spent on the farm and her early childhood.

Keywords: Childhood; Farms; Regional Influence

00:24:55 - Local presentation of the play "Quilters"

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Partial Transcript: A number of years ago, our local theater did "Quilters," and I was involved in coordinating the quilts for that project and I loved that theater piece because it did just that.

Segment Synopsis: Horton recalls coordinating the quilts for her communities presentation of the play 'Quilters.' According to Horton the play is an accurate representation of the influence quilts and the act of quilting can have on women's lives.

Keywords: Quilt purpose- storytelling; Theater

Subjects: Quilters (1984); Quilts in literature

00:26:08 - Preserving quilts

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Partial Transcript: And how do you think that we should preserve them for the future?

Segment Synopsis: Preserving quilts honors the maker and the piece according to Horton. She emphasizes the importance of labeling and sharing quilt's stories and continuing to educate the public about the importance of quilting.

Keywords: Quilt Alliance; Quilt preservation

Subjects: Oral history

00:27:13 - Working as a psychotherapist and that relationship to quilting

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Partial Transcript: I will say, just as a little addition to this, my day job is a psychotherapist.

Segment Synopsis: Horton shares that she works as a psychotherapist and that the quilts she displays in her office work in many ways help her relate to her patients. Specifically Horton notes that quilts relay a since of commitment and comfort allowing her to nonverbal say "I'll commit to working with you, and you can commit to change..."

Keywords: Psychotherapy; Therapist; Work

00:29:40 - Referencing family of seamstress and quilters

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Partial Transcript: Alright I just wanted to give a little reference point here.

Segment Synopsis: In conclusion to her interview Horton takes the time to give a point of reference for the farm she grew up on in DeKalb County, Illinois. She additionally lists the quilters and seamstress in her family.

Keywords: Female quiltmakers; Generational quiltmaking; family

Subjects: Sewing