There is a lot of information hidden in quilts, and professional quilters want to examine yours on Quilt Documentation & Discovery Day. The event will be held Saturday, September 28, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Virginia Historical Society located at 428 North Boulevard in Richmond. It is being coordinated by volunteers from the Virginia Consortium of Quilters.
Owners are encouraged to bring up to three Virginia-made quilts crafted before the year 2000. Consortium volunteers will photograph and record information about the pieces and any information known about their maker(s).
The Virginia Quilt Museum in Harrisonburg will include the documentation in their statewide quilt database. The museum will make the information available to researchers studying Virginia’s textile history, genealogy, and material culture.
“We are searching for clues in quilts that will tell us more about Virginians and their handwork,” said Neva Hart, Virginia Consortium of Quilters member and Quilt Documentation & Discovery Day organizer. “Documentation days discover as much about the quilters as the quilts they made. Quilts become our material tie to the quilt maker. Quilt owners look at the quilts and don’t see fabric—they see grandma’s dresses, uncle’s neckties, or baby sister’s hand outlined in embroidery on the fabric.”
Hart is hoping to document more than 125 quilts during the VHS-hosted event. The consortium is especially interested in seeing quilts made in eastern Virginia and those crafted by African Americans.
No appointment needed
There is no fee to participate in the Quilt Documentation & Discovery Day. No appointment is needed; quilt documentation is first come, first served. The event is open to the public.
“We get people who have a quilt and do not know anything about it—origin, date, makers, fabric, etc.,” Hart added. “I say ‘Bring it!’ We don’t turn people away. You don’t realize how valuable the information could be to researchers in the future. We have had some surprises and found some real gems at documentation events.”
The VHS is hosting the Quilt Documentation & Discovery Day in conjunction with The Great Western Virginia Cover-Up: Historic Quilts & Bedcovers.