Merikay Waldvogel is a nationally-known quilt authority. Her interest in quilts dates back to the mid-1970s when she purchased one out-of-the-ordinary quilt in Chicago, Illinois, where she was living at the time. As her collection grew, she began to ask questions about the fabrics and patterns in quilts in order to learn more about the quilts' histories. Since then she has written several books, including Quilts of Tennessee: Images of Domestic Life Prior to 1930; Soft Covers for Hard Times: Quiltmaking and the Great Depression; Patchwork Souvenirs of the 1933 World's Fair; and Southern Quilts: Surviving Relics of the Civil War. She has served on the Board of Directors of the American Quilt Study Group and the Alliance for American Quilts. She is a Research Fellow at the International Quilt Study Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she has frequently lectured and conducted classes. She was raised in the Midwest and currently resides in Knoxville, Tennessee, with her retired husband, Jerry Ledbetter. In addition to quilts, she enjoys bike-riding, hiking in the Smoky Mountains, and traveling. She has a B.A. in French from Monmouth College in Illinois and an M.A. in Linguistics from the University of Michigan.