The emergence of the American studio art quilt movement in the 1960s is the result of a complex intersection of art, craft, universities, and the tradition.al American quilt. Interviews with nine northernCalifornia artists who made art quilts between 1966 and 1986 reveal addition.al significant person.almotivations that inspired them w focus their creative efforts on quilts, This unique. combination of external cultural influe.nces and internal individual characteristics resulted in the birth of new art andquilt movements. Based on artist interviews conducted by the author in late 2009 , this paper focuses on theparallels and differences in the artists’ person.al lives that contributed w their becoming quilt artists andinflue.nced how they approached their careers as artists. Their swries provide a glimpse inw the lives of the pioneers who changed the course of quilt hiswry when they transformed a functional domestic objectinw an art form, inspiring subsequent generations of quiltmakers and artists.