Outsiders to Appalachia have been supporters of quiltmaking from this region since the early 20th century. Art historian Glenn Adamson has referred to Colonial Revival era interest in Appalachian crafts as “craft missionary work,” which aimed to aid impoverished families by providing a moral outlet of work.

In the 1960s, outsiders again “discovered” Appalachian quilts, with middle-class volunteers working as part of Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty” helping to establish cooperatives marketing quilts to urbanites.

In 1978 folklorist Geraldine Johnson spotted Carrie Severt’s quilts airing out on her front porch. In this case, Johnson was interested in documenting craftpersons from this area of Appalachia. Library of Congress, American Folklife Center

Carrie Severt, laundry, and quilt hanging on porch
Lyntha Scott Eiler
Alleghany County
United States