Montgomery County Women's History Project:
Women's History Quilts
Quilts, and the art of quilting, are an essential part of the American experience. For many generations, the traditional art form of quilting was one of the few avenues for personal and artistic expression allowed to women. Domestic and intimate in their history, quilts are often a powerful means of communication. As a narrative form, they may visualize family histories, anecdotes, celebrations, joys and sorrows, as well as portray political and social commentaries. With unlimited possibilities of color, shape, texture, and composition, quilts are a mixture of craft and art, of practical function and artistic appeal, of personal and public domain.
To commemorate its 30 years of service, advocacy and progress, in 2002 a quilt was created for the Montgomery County Commission for Women, featuring 30 women of historical significance to the county. The quilt is composed of 33 squares. Surrounding the central square, a composition commemorating the 30 years of the Commission, thirty two squares are placed. One square commemorates each of the thirty women. In the bottom corners, two squares name the members of the Ad Hoc Committee that recommended the establishment of the Commission for Women in 1972, and the presidents of the Commission from 1972 to 2002. In 2012, to mark the 40th anniversary of the Commission, another quilt was created featuring 10 more women of historical significance to the county. Their biographies have been added to this web site's "Women's History Archives."
The 40 women selected for these quilts have lived a significant part of their lives in Montgomery County, have made significant contributions to their fields, were "first women" in their profession, or have contributed significantly to the betterment of our community. The quilts were created by fiber artist Anne Sanderoff-Walker, 2002 - 2003 President of the Commission for Women. The quilts will be on permanent display at the Commission for Women at 21 Maryland Ave., ste. 330, Rockville, MD, 20850. The Commission has also created a web-based archive with information about the lives and contributions of the 40 women included in the quilt. The Montgomery County Women's History Archives will be housed on the Commission's web site. The Commission recognizes the pioneering work and the contributions that the 40 women have added to the history of Montgomery County. Their vision, dedication, perseverance, commitment and passion are an inspiration to us all.