Carolyn L. Mazloomi

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Carolyn L. Mazloomi (born August 22, 1948) is an American author, curator and quilter. She is a strong advocate for presenting and documenting African-American-made quilts.

Life[edit]

Mazloomi was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to a family of amateur artists and painters. She graduated from Northrop University in Inglewood, California, and worked in Los Angeles as an aerospace engineer. In the early 1970s, she encountered an Appalachian quilt at a market in Dallas that began her passion for quilting. She continued her quilting experiments while earning her Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from USC in 1984.[1]

Mazloomi is now retired from her job as an aerospace engineer and Federal Aviation Administration crash site investigator. She lives in Ohio with her family.

Women of Color Quilters Network (WOCQN)[edit]

In the mid-1980s after trying unsuccessfully to expand her small Los Angeles-based African-American quilting circle, Mazloomi placed an advertisement in Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine requesting correspondence with other quilters who shared this frustration. Her advertisement and the resulting correspondence led to the formation of the Women of Color Quilters Network (WOCQN),[2] a national organization of 1,700 members.

Founding members of the WOCQN included Carolyn, Claire E. Carter, aRma Carter, Cuesta Benberry, Meloydy Boyd, Michael Cummings, Peggie Hartwell, and Marie Wilson.[3]

Quilting[edit]

Mazloomi works in narrative quilts that tell stories through visuals. Common themes include music, inspired by an aunt who owned a Louisiana juke joint, and the African-American experience during the Civil Rights movement.

Other organizations[edit]

Mazloomi currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Alliance for American Quilts.

Works authored on quilting[edit]

  • Spirits of the Cloth: Contemporary African American Quilts (1998). ISBN 978-0609600917
  • Threads of Faith: Recent Works from the Women of Color Quilters Network (2004). ISBN 978-1585167739
  • Textural Rhythms: Quilting the Jazz Tradition (2007). ISBN 978-0979267505
  • Quilting African American Women’s History Our Challenges, Creativity and Champions (2008). ISBN 978-0979267512
  • The Journey of Hope in America: Quilts Celebrating President Barack Obama (2009). ISBN 978-0760339350

Awards[edit]

  • In 1999 she was awarded the Black Caucus of the American Library Association Literary Award for Best Nonfiction book, for her book Spirits of the Cloth: Contemporary African American Quilts.[4]
  • In 2003 Dr. Mazloomi was awarded the first Ohio Heritage Fellowship Award.[5] Her book Spirits of the Cloth: Contemporary African American Quilts received the “Best Non-Fiction Book of the Year” award from the American Library Association.[6]


  • In 2014 Dr. Mazloomi was named a NEA National Heritage Fellow, she was the 2014 recipient of the Bess Lomax Hawes Fellowship. [7]

References[edit]

External links[edit]