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How to Make an American Quilt Details


A young woman at a crossroads in her life finds herself receiving plenty of advice from her older and wiser counterparts in this drama. Finn Dodd (Winona Ryder) is a graduate student trying to finish up her doctoral thesis on women's folk art while deciding if she should marry her fiancé Sam (Dermot Mulroney); she's not sure if she's ready to settle down, and suspects that Sam is unfaithful to her. Needing time to sort things out, Finn chooses to spend the summer with her grandmother Hy (Ellen Burstyn) and great aunt Gladys Jo (Anne Bancroft). Hy and Gladys Jo are avid quilters, and with a group of their friends, they work on a special quilt for Finn's wedding; as the women work together, they share stories of their lives, and Finn finds herself learning as much from hearing them talk as she does from her schoolwork. Finn also receives a visit from her free-spirited mom Sally (Kate Capshaw) and finds herself infatuated with a good looking young man who lives nearby. Maya Angelou plays one of the quilters, as do Kate Nelligan, Jean Simmons, and Alfre Woodard. How to Make an American Quilt was the directorial debut of Jocelyn Moorhouse, and was based on a novel by Whitney Otto that itself began as a doctoral thesis. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi


Winona Ryder
as Finn Dodd
Anne Bancroft
as Glady Jo, Finn's great aunt
Ellen Burstyn
as Hy (Finn's grandmother)
Kate Nelligan
as Constance Saunders, Dean's mistress
Jean Simmons
as Em (artist's wife)
Alfre Woodard
as Marianna
Richard Jenkins
as Howell
Joanna Going
as Young Em
Esther Rolle
as Aunt Pauline
Alicia Goranson
as Young Hy
Rip Torn
as Arthur Cleary
Mykelti Williamson
as Winston
Dermot Mulroney
as Sam
Tim Guinee
as Young Dean
Lois Smith
as Sophia
Derrick O'Connor
as Dean
Samantha Mathis
as Young Sophia Darling
Will Nipper
as Boy at Party
Brian McElroy
as Baby Pres
Claire Danes
as Young Glady Joe
Jared Leto
as Beck
Johnathon Schaech
as Leon
Ari Meyers
as Duff
Loren Dean
as Young Preston, Sophia's husband
David Williams
as Em's Father
Debra Stricklin
as Guest
Jane Alden
as Em's Mother
Adam Baldwin
as Finn's Father
James Rebhorn
Kate Capshaw
as Sally, Finn's mother
Gail Strickland
as The Mrs
Maria Celedonio
as Young Anna
Holland Taylor
as Mrs Rubens
Melinda Dillon
as Mrs. Darling, Sophia's mother


Jocelyn Moorhouse
Sarah Pillsbury
Midge Sanford
Jane Anderson
Whitney Otto
Book Author
Janusz Kaminski
Timothy R. Sexton
Musical Direction/Supervision
Thomas Newman
Composer (Music Score)
Jill Bilcock
Leslie Dilley
Production Designer
Ed Verreaux
Art Director
Ruth Myers
Deborah Jelin Newmyer
Executive Producer
Laurie MacDonald
Executive Producer
Walter Parkes
Executive Producer
William J. Law III
Set Designer
Evelyne Barbier
Set Designer
Josh Lusby
Set Designer
Marvin March
Set Designer
Ruth Myers
Costume Designer
Russell Williams II
Sound/Sound Designer
Martin Becker
Special Effects
Sergio Mimica-Gezzan
First Assistant Director
Leslie Dilley
First Assistant Director
Mary Vernieu
Risa Bramon Garcia
Kevin Bartnof
Foley Artist
Valli O'Reilly