Member since 1983
In 1983, Laurel Horton attended the Southern Quilt Symposium in Chattanooga. It was there that she noticed Sally Garoutte selling copies of the first three editions of Uncoverings. Laurel was impressed that there was a publication in existence that was for serious quilt research papers. It was then that she chose to join the American Quilt Study Group.
Laurel has been making quilts since 1975. Although best known as a folklorist, textile researcher, author, and editor, she is also recognized as an imaginative fabric artist and inspiring teacher. Her work with AQSG has been significant, as a frequent author and former editor of Uncoverings, as well as having served on the AQSG Board of directors for ten years, with three of those years as President.
Laurel discovered quilts in 1975 as a graduate student in Folklore at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, and her MA thesis was one of the earliest studies of regional variations in American quiltmaking. She directed the South Carolina Quilt History Project, co-sponsored by McKissick and the SC State Museum from 1983-1985 and has curated quilt exhibitions at McKissick and other museums. As a mentor to new researchers, Laurel brings the breadth and depth of her experience, a commitment to excellence, and a compassionate objectivity.
Laurel’s published works include the books, Social Fabric: South Carolina’s Traditional Quilts (1985), Glorified Patchwork: South Carolina Crazy Quilts (1989), Quiltmaking in America: Beyond the Myths (1994), Mary Black’s Family Quilts: Memory and Meaning in Everyday Life (2005), Whitework: Women Stitching Identity (2021), and numerous articles, research papers, and book reviews. Her current research focuses on the lives of women who made white embellished quilts and counterpanes. She served as guest curator for the exhibit, Whitework: Women Stitching Identity, at the Kentucky Museum in 2021. Laurel’s article, Two Kentucky Counterpanes, Two Life Stories will be published in the 2022 edition of Uncoverings.
Laurel is a native of Jeffersontown, Kentucky. She holds a BA in English and an MS in Library Science from the University of Kentucky, and an MA in Folklore from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. She lives with her husband, Wayne Richard, in Seneca, South Carolina