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Joe Cunningham grew up in Flint, Michigan. He started playing guitar and drums at an early age and began playing music professionally in high school. He made his living from music until he was invited to write the catalogue for a quilt documentation project. To prepare for that, he learned how to make quilts, and since 1979, he has been making, writing about, talking and teaching about, and even singing about quilts. From the beginning, Joe has been a student of quilt history, writing scholarly articles, essays, and books on the subject. In his studies he ran across the story of Joe the Quilter, an Englishman who made quilts in the late 1700s. This story inspired him to create a one-man musical quilt show called “Joe the Quilter” comprised of songs, stories, and original quilts all created to tell the tale of the original Joe. In 2001, Joe added the show to his repertoire of lectures and classes, leading to performances throughout the country. Today Joe lives in San Francisco with his wife and sons, working from his quilt studio in the city, and living in the Presidio National Park, the former Army base adjacent to the Golden Gate Bridge.
Books by Joe Cunningham