Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about

The Delaware Quilt Documentation Project

What is it?    The Delaware Quilt Documentation Project is a collaborative effort between the University of Delaware, and the Delaware State Division of Historic and Cultural Affairs to record the quilts made in Delaware that were made before World War II, and the quiltmakers who created them.

Why do it?   The objective of the Project is to document the quilt heritage, and to capture the cultural richness of the State of Delaware.

How will the information be used?     The information gathered will be submitted to The Quilt Index, a national on-line data base on quilts maintained by The Alliance for American Quilts.  The Quilt Index is accessible at  and is available to scholars and quilt enthusiasts world wide.  The Alliance for American Quilts is accessible at

Have there been previous attempts to gather this information?  To date there have been two previous Quilt Documentation Projects in Delaware.  The first in was held in 1984 at the YMCA in Arden and the second in 1996 at the Delaware Agricultural Museum in Dover.  The information collected at these events has been located and will be included with the submissions of the current Project.

How is the information gathered?  The documentation process includes three activities.  First the quilt is photographed; then the physical characteristics such as color palette, pattern name, number of borders and other observable characteristics are recorded; and then any historical information about the quilt and/or the quiltmaker that the participants can provide is gathered.

How can I be sure my quilt will be handled with care and returned to me in good shape?  The volunteers in this project have been trained by the Principal Coordinators, a museum professional and a textile conservation scientist.  Your quilt will be given a registration number when you arrive and as you leave you will be asked to check the registration book to indicate that your quilt has been returned to you.

Will I be able to see the data collected about my quilt?   Absolutely!  You will be given a label to attach to the back of your quilt which bears the registration number of your quilt and will enable you to find the information related to your quilt on The Quilt Index.  Also, you will receive a photo of your quilt and a copy of the information.

When will I receive this information?  Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to hire the technical help we need to process the photographic images of the quilts, so this work has to be done by our Principal Coordinators.  Each image needs to be cropped, and sometimes additional processing such as color adjustment needs to be done.  This work is time consuming and we have already over 1500 quilt images.    We ask for your understanding and patience.   You will receive your packet of information as soon as possible.

Is there any cost to participate?   No financial cost  if your quilt was made in Delaware, only about an hour of your time for each quilt you bring to be documented.  Otherwise, a small donation is requested.

Can I make a financial contribution to support the Quilt Documentation Project?  Yes.  The Quilt Documentation Project is very grateful to the groups and individuals who have made gifts of funds. The Helping Hands Quilt Guild and the Ladybugs Quilt Guild have provided generous gifts, and several private individuals have also financially supported the Project.   Checks can be made payable to “Delaware Quilt Documentation Project” and sent to:

Fran Mayhew, 5525 E. Timberview Court, Skyline Ridge, Wilmington, DE 19808 Ann Baker Horsey, Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, 7 The Green, Dover, DE 19901

How long will the Quilt Documentation Project continue?  The Project is expected to continue for several years.   When the entire state has been harvested, an exhibition will circulate to sites in each county, and a book featuring the most representative and historically important quilts will be developed.

Can I become involved with the Project?  The organizers welcome the participation of any interested quilt enthusiast who would like to become involved with the documentation.  To volunteer, please contact the Principle Coordinators listed below.

Is this project supported by any known funding agency?   The Delaware Quilt Documentation Project has been supported in part by grants from the Delaware Humanities Forum, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.  The National Quilting Association has also provided financial support for the Project.

How can I get more information about the Quilt Documentation Project?  You can find more information about this Project by contacting one of the Principal Coordinators listed below.  And watch our website ( which will feature current information about upcoming Quilt Harvest Days; as well as photographs and information on the quilts that have been documented to date.

Principal Coordinators:

Ann Baker Horsey
Curator of Collections
Delaware State Division of Historical & Cultural Affairs

Frances Whitaker Mayhew, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Retired
University of Delaware