Interview with Cindy Friedman, July 22, 2003

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:07 - Introduction

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Partial Transcript: This is Megan Dwyer, on July 22nd.

00:00:24 - Quilt for interview

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Partial Transcript: Why don't you tell me about the quilts that we're looking at?

Segment Synopsis: Friedman discusses the quilt she brought in for the interview, which features a portrait of her family. She discusses the materials she used for the quilt, including silk and rayon. She talks about the special meaning the quilt has, as she believes it was a technical challenge for her. She talks about the specifics of how she designed the quilt using the computer, as well as how she constructed the quilt by hand. Friedman then tells Dwyer what she plans on doing with the quilt, which is currently hanging as a wall quilt.

Keywords: Challenging quilt designs; Computer designed quilts; Family portraits; Family quilts; Personal quilts; Rayon quilts; Silk quilts

Subjects: Artists; Arts & crafts; Crafts & decorating; Decorative arts; Quilting; Quilts; Quilts--Design.; Sewing; Textile artists; Textiles; Women

00:02:58 - Introduction to quilting

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Partial Transcript: When did you start quilting?

Segment Synopsis: Friedman recalls making her first quilt while she was in college. She created a baby quilt for a friend from high school who had a baby. She discusses how her skills as an art student assisted her in creating her quilt. Friedman talks about how her fashion design skills also help her with creating quilts.

Keywords: Art schools; Art training; Baby quilts; Textile design

Subjects: Artists; Arts & crafts; Crafts & decorating; Decorative arts; Quilting; Quilts; Quilts--Design.; Sewing; Textile artists; Textiles; Women

00:05:09 - Weekly quilting schedule / Art Quilts at the Sedgwick

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Partial Transcript: How many hours a week do you quilt?

Segment Synopsis: Friedman tells the interviewer she spends 35-40 hours per week quilting, as quilting is her full-time occupation. Friedman then discusses the Art Quilts at the Sedgwick show she began, a juried art quilt show. She describes the operations of the show through the years. Friedman talks about quilts as an art form, which she views as more accessible to the public than other forms of art.

Keywords: Art quilts; Daily schedules; Quilt shows; Traditional quilts; Work schedules

Subjects: Artists; Arts & crafts; Crafts & decorating; Decorative arts; Quilting; Quilts; Quilts--Design.; Sewing; Textile artists; Textiles; Women

00:08:22 - Quilting as an art form

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Partial Transcript: Do you ever feel like quilting's look--looked down upon by, like, other people in the art world because of its, like--

Segment Synopsis: Friedman talks about how she believes quilts are perceived by the public and the art world, particularly art quilts. She discusses the reasons why she believes art quilts are becoming more accepted in the mainstream art world.

Keywords: Art forms; Art quilts; Contemporary quilts; Quilts as art; Traditional quilts

Subjects: Artists; Arts & crafts; Crafts & decorating; Decorative arts; Quilting; Quilts; Quilts in art; Quilts--Design.; Sewing; Textile artists; Textiles; Women

00:10:43 - Qualities of a great quilter

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Partial Transcript: What do you think makes a great quilter?

Segment Synopsis: Friedman tells Dwyer what she believes makes a great quilter, including a love of textiles and a combination of a good sense of color and how to technically put them together.

Keywords: Quilt colors; Quilting as visual art; Technical aspects of quilting

Subjects: Artists; Arts & crafts; Crafts & decorating; Decorative arts; Quilting; Quilts; Quilts--Design.; Sewing; Textile artists; Textiles; Women

00:12:36 - Body of work / Quilts as gifts

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Partial Transcript: How many quilts have you made?

Segment Synopsis: Friedman tells the interviewer she has made about 50 quilts so far. She then discusses what she does with her quilts, talking about how she rarely gives them as gifts. She mostly sells her quilts.

Keywords: Art quilts; Body of work; Quilt artists; Quilters; Traditional quilts

Subjects: Artists; Arts & crafts; Crafts & decorating; Decorative arts; Quilting; Quilts; Quilts--Design.; Sewing; Textile artists; Textiles; Women

00:13:09 - Quilting's impact on her life

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Partial Transcript: Okay, I'm gonna switch topics a little bit I think and talk about how quilting--how does quilting impact your life?

Segment Synopsis: Friedman talks about how quilting is a positive form of self-expression in her life, as well as a good source of income. She discusses how selling her quilts gives her work validation. Friedman tells Dwyer how sewing has been therapeutic for her throughout her life and why.

Keywords: Artistic validation; Creative processes; Quilts as an art form; Self-expression; Selling quilts

Subjects: Artists; Arts & crafts; Crafts & decorating; Decorative arts; Quilting; Quilts; Quilts--Design.; Sewing; Textile artists; Textiles; Women

00:15:02 - Quilting's impact on her family

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Partial Transcript: How does it impact your family?

Segment Synopsis: Friedman talks about her family's response to her quilting. She tells Dwyer they are supportive of her quilting, though no one else in her close family quilts, aside from her great-great-grandmother.

Keywords: Families of artists; Family life; Family quilters; Family support; Supportive families

Subjects: Artists; Arts & crafts; Crafts & decorating; Decorative arts; Families; Quilting; Quilts; Sewing; Textile artists; Textiles; Women

00:16:22 - Quilts in American life / Quilts in women's history

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Partial Transcript: What do you think--how do you think quilts are important in American life?

Segment Synopsis: Friedman discusses the importance of the creative outlet and sense of accomplishment quilting gives people. She also talks about the importance of quilting in women's history, for creative expression as well as utilitarian uses. Friedman tells Dwyer about the recent return of needle arts into American culture, particularly in the lives of young people. She talks about the importance of using one's hands to create something, which is why she believes needle arts have become popular again.

Keywords: American quilters; Needle arts; Quilting in America; Self-expression; Traditional quilts; Utilitarian quilts; Women and quilting; Youth culture

Subjects: Artists; Arts & crafts; Crafts & decorating; Decorative arts; Quilting; Quilts; Quilts--Design.; Sewing; Textile artists; Textiles; Women; Women's history

00:19:48 - Art quilting

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Partial Transcript: One more question I wanted to ask also from that--

Segment Synopsis: Friedman talks about the evolution of art quilting as an art medium. She discusses how, in particular, art quilts developed within the quilting community.

Keywords: Art quilts; Quilting as an art form; Quilting community

Subjects: Artists; Arts & crafts; Crafts & decorating; Decorative arts; Quilting; Quilts; Quilts--Design.; Sewing; Textile artists; Textiles; Women

00:21:56 - Uses for quilts / Wearable art

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Partial Transcript: How do you think quilts can be used?

Segment Synopsis: Friedman tells Dwyer quilts can be used for many purposes, except for wearable quilt art. She discusses her hopes for the wearable art community's use of quilts in the future. Friedman talks about her own experience with wearable art, creating doll clothes as a child and later making her own clothing. She then talks about her experiences with teaching wearable arts and fashion design. She tells Dwyer she does not dye her own fabrics and tends to avoid the practice altogether.

Keywords: Alternative textiles; Art skills; Creative processes; Fashion as art; Quilted clothing; Teaching art; Teaching quilting; Wearable quilt art

Subjects: Artists; Arts & crafts; Crafts & decorating; Decorative arts; Mixed media; Quilting; Quilts; Quilts--Design.; Sewing; Textile artists; Textiles; Wearable art; Women

00:26:03 - Creative processes and inspirations

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Partial Transcript: --talk at all about, um, your creative process?

Segment Synopsis: Friedman discusses her creative inspirations and processes, including her favorite patterns, her interest in the human form, and how nature creates unique patterns. She talks about how she creates her new quilt designs, including the processes she uses to transform her designs into her quilts.

Keywords: Body structures; Creative inspirations; Creative processes; Drawing classes; Human forms; Quilt designs

Subjects: Artists; Arts & crafts; Crafts & decorating; Creativity; Decorative arts; Quilting; Quilts; Quilts--Design.; Sewing; Textile artists; Textiles; Women

00:31:26 - Quilts for charity and commissioned quilts

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Partial Transcript: Um, we're back now from a little break that, that we took.

Segment Synopsis: Friedman talks about the lapel pins she creates for the Linda Creed Breast Cancer Foundation in Philadelphia, which she began to raise money for a friend in her quilt guild who was diagnosed with breast cancer. She also talks about a quilt she created for the Ronald McDonald House to commemorate their work, as well as a quilt for the infectious disease clinic at the University of Pennsylvania for patients with AIDS.

Keywords: Breast cancer foundations; Charity quilts; Commissioned arts; Linda Creed Breast Cancer Foundation; Quilt guilds; Quilts for charity

Subjects: AIDS (Disease)--Patients; Artists; Arts & crafts; Breast--Cancer.; Crafts & decorating; Decorative arts; Quilting; Quilts; Quilts--Design.; Ronald McDonald House Charities.; Sewing; Textile artists; Textiles; Women

00:35:06 - Quilting guild membership

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Partial Transcript: And you're part of a guild?

Segment Synopsis: Friedman talks about her membership in a quilt guild, where she met the other founding members of the Art Quilts at the Sedgwick group. She talks about how they create quilts as a group.

Keywords: Art Quilts of the Sedgwick; Exhibiting artists; Quilt shows; Quilting communities; Quilting groups; Quilting guilds

Subjects: Artists; Arts & crafts; Communities; Crafts & decorating; Decorative arts; Friends; Quilting; Quilts; Sewing; Textile artists; Textiles; Women