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Catalog Archive / Fall 2019

Striding Lines
The Unique Story Quilts of Rumi O'Brien
With contributions by Melanie Herzog and Marin Hanson
Photographs by Mark Golbach

“Rumi O’Brien’s quilts are a creative infusion of narrative, place, and heritage. Artists and scholars will be fascinated by her work.”
—Anne Pryor, Wisconsin Arts Board folklorist emerita

The gnarled branches of a beautiful old plum tree reach toward the sky. A mushroom hunter searches for morels among rolling hills. A small boat is tossed among the tumultuous waves of an angry sea. Striding Lines, an homage to Wisconsin artist and quilter Rumi O’Brien, presents these striking images of her work and many more, accompanied by descriptions that share the stories of each piece in the artist’s own words. Each quilt represents a moment, often autobiographical, crafted with whimsy, revealing an inspired talent.

Bobbie Malone reaches beyond the quilts to tell O’Brien’s own story, from her initial foray into the quilting world to her developed dedication to the craft. Contributions from leaders in the art, textile and quilting community, including Melanie Herzog and Marin Hanson, contextualize O’Brien’s work in the greater community of quiltmakers and artists. This book celebrates the life and ingenuity of a Japanese-born American immigrant whose oeuvre is equally Japanese and Wisconsinite—and entirely distinctive.


Bobbie Malone is a historian, author, and editor, and former director of the Office of School Services at the Wisconsin Historical Society. Her most recent biography is Lois Lenski: Storycatcher.




“A very well-informed portrait of this singular artist’s work and how her work fits into larger cultural and historical textile production. This is a story with which many will be able to resonate.”
—Marsha MacDowell, author of Quilts and Human Rights



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Of Related Interest


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Field Recordings from the Upper Midwest, 1937–1946
James P. Leary


Pinery Boys
Songs and Songcatching in the Lumberjack Era
Edited by Franz Rickaby with Gretchen Dykstra and James P. Leary

Striding Lines: Cover showing a close up picture of a quilt where three different block meets. One is dark blue with small, green lines going through it, one is green, and one is grey with a little quilt woman on it.

Larger images

October 2019
LC: 2019009208 MK
112 pp. 8 x 10
80 color illus.

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Paper $24.95 a
ISBN 9780299325541
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