The Millstone Sewing Center with Quilting Women

Appalshop at 50

The Millstone Sewing Center

Directed by Mimi Pickering


Quilting Women

Directed by Elizabeth Barret

Sunday, July 14, 12:30 pm



“Leaves you in a quiet fury, wondering about a government which can squander millions and then try to ‘economize’ by cutting back on small-scale local endeavors that actually help the people they were meant to help.” –The Washington Post on The Millstone Sewing Circle


The Millstone Sewing Center documents a highly successful community action program during the War on Poverty. Elderly seamstresses describe how they use Office of Economic Opportunity funds and Salvation Army hand-me-downs to make and remodel clothing for poor families in two eastern Kentucky counties. Comments from Center director Mabel Kiser on how she conceived of the Center and found a building, fabrics, and funding sources are intercut with scenes of the women at work. The seamstresses explain how the Center has provided them with an alternative to public assistance and talk about the effectiveness of social programs that grow from within a community. 1972, U.S., digital video, 13 minutes. Recommended for 12+.


Quilting Women traces the process of traditional Appalachian quilting, from cutting out and piecing together the patterns to the quilting bee. Quilters comment on the origins of the generations-old patterns, the time and patience required, the satisfaction of accomplishment, the quilts as art, and the companionship offered by women working together over a quilting frame. 1976, U.S., digital video, 28 minutes. Recommended for 12+.

Appalshop at 50 is a year-long celebration of the non-profit organization based in Whitesburg, KY dedicated to production and presentation of the stories about Appalachia that commercial media doesn’t tell by challenging stereotypes, supporting grassroot efforts to achieve justice and equity, and celebrating cultural diversity. As part of the Speed’s celebration of the art of Kentucky, we will present work from Appalshop at one Owsley Free Sunday each month throughout 2019.