By: Jane Przybysz
For years now, whenever anyone has asked me why the first quilt museum in the United States, the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, was founded in California – rather than New England or the Southeastern United States – I’ve explained that, in my view, three things came together in California in a way they didn’t come together in other parts of the country.
First was the Berkley-based, back-to-the-land movement that spawned the hippies who took pride in learning how to bake their own bread, build their own houses, and sew their own clothes. Second, was the American Bicentennial, in 1976, which renewed interest in all activities purportedly colonial, among them hand spinning, dyeing, and weaving. Attention was also focused on patchwork as am imagined colonial salvage craft.