Research on quilting topic for opening CROW Forum lecture series at UNI

September 27, 2004

Marybeth C. Stalp, assistant professor of sociology, (319) 273-6235
Vicki Grimes, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-6728

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- 'Hiding the Fabric Stash: Collecting, Hoarding and Hiding Strategies of Contemporary U.S. Quilters' will be the topic of the first CROW (Current Research on Women) Forum lecture for the 2004-2005 academic year at the University of Northern Iowa. It will begin at noon, Monday, Oct. 4, in the Maucker Union Presidential Room.

Marybeth C. Stalp, UNI assistant professor of sociology, will discuss part of her four-year research project that examined contemporary quilters in the United States. Whereas 100 years ago, quilting was part of the necessary work for a home, today it is a leisure activity whose raw material-- fabric-- tends to be acquired seasonally and on a cyclical basis.

'Just as a painter needs paint, a quilter needs fabric-- although most quilters don't yet create their own fabric, buying it instead,' says Stalp. 'Because of this, some quilters tend to overbuy fabric. Then, since it is not necessary to the family, but a leisure activity, they often feel a need to hide it or 'stash it away' and even refer to it as 'stash.''

Stalp, who interviewed 70 women in the course of her research, also looked at when and why her subjects quilt, one of many options available to them for leisure activity.

Susan J. Koch, associate provost and interim graduate dean at UNI, will give the introductory remarks to launch this year's CROW Forum series.

Sponsored by UNI's Graduate Program in Women's Studies, the series is free and open to the public.