Many of us have antique quilts tucked away — hopefully, rolled up safely in a cotton sheet or folded away, padded with acid-free tissue paper, in an acid-free box. The stories of those quilts — who made them, when they were sewn (by hand or by machine), where they originated, the kind of fabric used ( wool, silk, cotton or linen), its design (crazy, applique, pieced, art) what the batting is made of — may be known or not. If known, it’s a good idea to write that information down and keep it with the quilt so it will live on long after quilt owner is gone. Such information is invaluable to quilt historians and those who collect and write about quilts, and to future generations of the family to which the quilt belongs.
But one thing is certain, show your vintage quilt to an expert and its story will expand in ways you might not have expected. Indeed, some of what you think you know about your quilt may prove to be erroneous.
To aid in determining the true story of one’s old quilts, The Bangor Museum and History Center will offer a Quilt Day, noon-4 p.m. Saturday, June 15, at Eastern Maine Development Corporation, 40 Harlow St. Special guest will be Pam Weeks, curator of the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, Mass., who will talk about historic quilts, her quilt-related research in New England and her upcoming book on “potholder” quilts, made of squares that are batted, backed and the edges finished, then sewn together with blind stitches along each finished edge.
Weeks is a quilt historian and the author of “Civil War Quilts.” She also is the co-author, with Lorie Chase, of a research paper about inscribed quilts, “A Blue Hills Quilt — To Miss Charlotte Hawkins,” published in Uncoverings, a publication of the American Quilt Study Group in Lincoln, Neb. She is an expert quilter and fiber artist, and has been a state-juried member of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen since 1993. Her quilts have been exhibited nationally and internationally.
Attendees will have the opportunity to have Weeks assess their quilts. The cost is $15.
In conjunction with the event, the Bangor museum will have on display, only for that day, some of the rarely viewed quilts from its collection, including a silk “potholder” quilt, which recently went on display at the New England Quilt Museum, and a small crazy quilt that was part of a donation of Victorian clothing in 1979 from Ripley Farm in East Corinth, and had at one time been kept in a closet for 50 years at 101 Leighton St. in Bangor. Elizabeth O’Meara donated the quilt to the museum.
Advance registration for quilt assessment is encouraged. Admission to the event is $10, $8 museum members. For information, got to bangormuseum.org.
A current exhibit at the New England Quilt Museum is “Silk! Luxurious and Contemporary Quilts” on display through July 7. For information, visit nequiltmuseum.org.
Also, the Lowell Quilt Festival will take place Aug. 8-10 in Lowell, Mass. Those who wish to enter a quilt in the festival will find information at lowellquiltfestival.org.
For information about the American Quilt Study Group, 1610 L Street, Lincoln, NE 68508-2509, call 402-477-1181 or email email@example.com.
Another source for information about quilts, including antique and vintage, is the International Quilt Study Center and Museum at 1523 North 33rd Street, Lincoln, NE 68503. Contact the center by calling 402-472-6549 or visit quiltstudy.org.
Create your own floor cloth, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, June 21, at Woodlawn Museum, 19 Black House Drive in Ellsworth.
Artist Patience Sampson will teach the technique for the decorative art popular in the 18th century. Participants will create their own 2-feet by 3-feet floor cloth made of canvas.
The cost is $110 Woodlawn members, $120 others and includes materials and lunch. Advance registration is required by calling 667-8671.