Women of Color Quilters Network

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Women of Color Quilters Network (WCQN) is a national organization dedicated to preserving African American quiltmaking.


The Women of Color Quilters Network was founded in 1986 by Carolyn L. Mazloomi.

For many years in the early 1980s Mazloomi had tried unsuccessfully to expand her circle of African American quilters. She eventually placed an advertisement in Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine requesting correspondence with other quilters who shared this frustration. She received several responses to this advertisement, and the resulting correspondence led to the formation of the Women of Color Quilters Network (WCQN).[1]

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

In 1992-1993, a survey of WCQN members, conducted by quilter Sandra German, indicated members had low expectations for fairness, acceptance, and success from traditional or mainstream quilting ventures (e.g., quilt guilds, magazines, contests).[2]


The objectives of the organization include the fostering and preservation of the art of quilt making among women and men of color, researching quilt history and documenting quilts, and offering authentic, handmade African American quilts and fiber art to museums and galleries for exhibition.

WCQN membership surpassed 1,000 quilters from the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean and England. [3] [4]

Many members specialize in narrative quilts on contemporary African-American themes because, as Mazloomi pointed out, "we are a people with many stories to tell."[5][6]

WCQN members continue to exhibit their quilts in community venues, local galleries and museums. In 2004, the Museum of Biblical Art sponsored the traveling exhibition, Threads of Faith: Recent Works from the Women of Color Quilters Network. [7]


Other national quilting organizations[edit]

Since the founding of the WCQN, other national organizations formed to foster growth among African American quilters have been founded:


  1. ^ Quilter’s Exchange – Needle and Pin Pals.” Quilters Newsletter Magazine, February 1986, p. 41. Carolyn Mazloomi wishes to correspond with “Black quilters worldwide.”
  2. ^ “Surfacing: The Inevitable Rise of the Women of Color Quilters’ Network” In Uncovering 1993, ed. Laurel Horton, pp. 137 – 168. San Francisco: American Quilt Study Group, 1994.
  3. ^ Martin, Charles. “What’s New and News in Quilting – Women of Color Network Membership Approaches 1,000.” Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine, May 1996, p. 7.
  4. ^ German, Sandra K. “Surfacing: The Inevitable Rise of the Women of Color Quilters’ Network” In Uncovering 1993, ed. Laurel Horton, pp. 137 – 168. San Francisco: American Quilt Study Group, 1994.
  5. ^ Life's Thread Stitched Into Quilts,” by Patricial Leigh Brown, New York Times, April 04, 1996.
  6. ^ Crafted Lives Google Books
  7. ^ Museum of Biblical Arts, Past Exhibitions.
  8. ^ ‘’Black Threads’’, Kyra Hicks, p. 119.

Further reading[edit]

  • Black Threads: An African American Quilting Sourcebook by Kyra E. Hicks, McFarland & Company, (2002) pages 25, 59, 62
  • A Communion of the Spirits: African-American Quilters, Preservers, and Their Stories by Roland L. Freeman, Thomas Nelson (1996)Pages 59-60, 123, 166, 167-71, 198-99, 311

External links[edit]