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00:00:06 - Learning to quilt and early quiltmaking experiences

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Partial Transcript: Tell me about your interest in quiltmaking and how you got started making quilts.

Segment Synopsis: Zak talks about his early experiences watching his grandmother sewing garments, and sewing a four-patch block at school.

Keywords: Learning quiltmaking; childhood

00:05:56 - Quilts of Gees Bend and the work of Irene Williams

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Partial Transcript: They obviously continue have--and for folks that are familiar with my work--continue to have an influence on my work and on my approach.

Segment Synopsis: Zak talks about seeing quilts made by women in Gee's Bend, Alabama and how they have influenced his work. He also discusses how to honor and respect that work as a white male quiltmaker.

Keywords: African American quiltmakers; Appropriation; Gee's Bend quilts; Male quiltmakers

Subjects: African American quilts -- Alabama -- Gee's Bend; Boykin (Wilcox County, Ala.)

00:08:36 - Making quilts using repurposed and found materials

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Partial Transcript: How would you describe the quilts you make now?

Segment Synopsis: Zak describes how many of his quilts are inspired by the fabrics he finds and repurposes. He talks about making memorial quilts and the ways in which clothing can tell a story about its owners.

Keywords: Quilt Purpose - Memorial; Repurposed fabrics

00:11:16 - Improvisation and sensitivity in the quiltmaking process

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Partial Transcript: And it's important to me to remain open and sensitive...

Segment Synopsis: Zak talks about how quiltmaking has taught him that sensitivity can be an asset, and being open to possibilities while making quilts without a set pattern.

Keywords: Design process; Improvisational piecing

Subjects: Improvisation in art; Truitt, Anne, 1921-2004

00:12:53 - About the touchstone quilt and "oracle quilting"

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Partial Transcript: I'm skipping ahead slightly: we typically ask folks to bring a touchstone quilt or sometimes it's more than one. Do you want to share one quilt? Do you feel like you is a touchstone for your says something about your your work?

Segment Synopsis: Zak shares a quilt he made in 2017--the first full-size quilt made after the election of United States President Donald Trump. It was an improvisational quilt that came to represent ideas about a brighter future.

00:16:21 - Quiltmaking in difficult times and the "O, America!" quilt

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Partial Transcript: Have you used quiltmaking in the past to get through other difficult times?

Segment Synopsis: After reading an essay about reclaiming the American flag, Zak pieced his own American flag, and incorporated it into a quilt made from blocks responding to news items from the first 100 days of the Trump presidency.

Keywords: America; American flag; Political quilts; Protest quilts

Subjects: Kingsolver, Barbara

00:19:44 - Zak's studio; quiltmaking and teaching

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Partial Transcript: Can you describe the place where you make, or your studio?

Segment Synopsis: Zak's quilts are made in his walk-in kitchen. He describes his workspace and talks about how he makes time to quilt while also working full-time as a high school teacher. He also considers how his life as a teacher and a quiltmaker intersect.

Keywords: Design Wall; Teaching; Work or Studio space

00:25:11 - Collaborative work and community

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Partial Transcript: Do you... I'm curious if you feel like you work in a in a community of quilters?

Segment Synopsis: Zak talks about community and his relationship with social media. He talks about his interest in collaborative work, and the "43 for 43" project, in which Zak coordinated a number of quiltmakers to create quilt blocks to honor 43 students from a rural teaching college in Mexico who disappeared in 2014.

Keywords: Social media; Social quiltmaking activities; collaboration

Subjects: Escuela Normal Rural de Ayotzinapa -- Students

00:30:13 - Quilts as vessels for political or community messages

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Partial Transcript: You mentioned... I mean many of your quilts have have messages. Is there... Why do you think that quilts are uniquely suited or rather, do you think that quilts are uniquely suited, for carrying a message?

Segment Synopsis: Zak talks about why quilts, as domestic objects, are well-suited to carry political or social messages. He talks about the work of artist Kathryn Clark and her foreclosure quilts, and the Latin American tradition of the cacerolazo; a noise-making protest often with pots, pans, and other household items.

Keywords: political quilts; social justice

00:33:40 - Inspiration from quiltmakers, artists and writers

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Partial Transcript: Is there other folks or other sort of moments or anything--it doesn't have to be quilting related--that you're you're really drawn to or have been inspiring you lately?

Segment Synopsis: Zak talks about other quiltmakers he admires, as well as how he is inspired by the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Barbara Kingsolver and Mary Oliver.

Subjects: Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 1803-1882; Kingsolver, Barbara; Thoreau, Henry David, 1817-1862

00:36:43 - Qualities of a great quilt and the lifespan of quilts

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Partial Transcript: I love to ask it, but it's really a challenge. What do you think makes a great quilt?

Segment Synopsis: Zak describes his ideas about a great quilt--a quilt made with and attention--and what makes a great quilt as art. He talks about where his quilts end up, and the storage of his quilts in his bedroom. He also talks about his long-arm machine and how the quilting process is his least favorite part of quilting.

Keywords: Aesthetics; Long arm quilting machine; everyday use

Subjects: What makes a great quilt?

00:41:56 - The importance of quilts in American Life

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Partial Transcript: EP:What do you think that is the importance of quilts in American life? Do they... That's, that's a that's a loaded question, but if you want to talk a little bit about that.

ZF: I do love, and it kind of circles back to a few moments ago. But I do love that quilting is not usually something that's done in a studio, is not done in a separate space. Usually it's done in people's homes, it is the heart.

Segment Synopsis: Zak talks about quilts as intimate objects meant for the bed, which is the heart of the home. He shares his ideas of commonly held American values and the capacity for quilting projects meant to bring America together.

Keywords: american quilting; american values