The Oprah Effect.

On this day in 1996, American daytime talk show host Oprah Winfrey launched her television book club. Oprah’s Book Club surprised the publishing world that did not anticipate the “Oprah effect,” the entertainer’s ability to promote and sell products she recommended on her show. Many of her picks reached over 1 million copies sold.

The Quilting Queens, a group made up of volunteers at the Hurricane Relief Center in Minden, Louisiana, made this portrait quilt for Oprah Winfrey to thank her for the donations she made to rescue workers during the 2005 storms. The quilt was made from leftover clothing donated to the relief center. The group chose purple clothing in reference to Oprah’s role in the movie The Color Purple. Local third-grade students helped to piece the quilt, and local artist Larry Milford designed and executed the center portrait of Oprah. This quilt’s history is preserved thanks to the Louisiana Quilt Documentation Project.

View this quilt on The Quilt Index to read more about its history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view.

Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance

This entry was posted in On this Day in History Quilts series and tagged , , , by quiltalliance. Bookmark the permalink.

About quiltalliance

The Quilt Alliance is a nonprofit 501c3 organization established in 1993 whose mission is to document, preserve, and share our International quilt heritage by collecting the rich stories that historic and contemporary quilts, and their makers, tell about our nation's diverse peoples and their communities. In support of this mission, the Alliance brings together quilt makers and designers, the quilt industry, quilt scholars and teachers, and quilt collectors to further the following goals: To promote the understanding of the quilt as an important grassroots art form. To make information about quilts available to a broad public. To educate the public about the importance of documenting quilts and quiltmakers so that their stories will not be lost.

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