Preconference Events

Hear from Harrisburg: Textile and Fiber Traditions of Central Pennsylvania on July 8

At the center of Pennsylvania’s expressive life are bits, pieces, and scraps of textiles, thread, and yarn, reassembled into something useful, beautiful, and often enduring. Tradition bearers Anju Singh, Joni Osterhout, and Ann Parsons Holte craft them to tie families together in the present  and across generations, and to build community in Central Pennsylvania. Their work materializes ideas and makes memorable gifts, preserving and creating memories, but also builds social and cultural capital for women. Join folklorist Yvonne Milspaw and some of Central PA’s fiber and textile artists to discuss the role of women in these folk and traditional arts, and the community and family they build, stitch by stitch.

Ann Holte teaches both traditional Pennsylvania German quilting design and modern design, and is the author of Making the Lancaster Diamond Sampler.She also designs and makes Quilts of Valor and wrote Quilts of Valor: A 50 State Salute. She runs a studio, teaches machine quilting, and is active in the Piecemakers Guild in Middletown, PA. 

Joni Osterhout learned crochet and knitting traditionally and believes it is “just something people do.” She is prolific, and makes up some of her own stitch designs. In her spare time, she teaches elementary school. 

Though Dr. Anju Singh has a multi-dimensional professional skill set, running from business through non-profit leadership and organizing cultural events to medicine, she is also an expert in traditional Indian textiles and textile arts. She runs a shop and helps to design clothes both for ordinary wear and for elaborate weddings and celebrations.