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Quilt exhibit coming to Depot Museum

By submitted, 01/29/20 9:25 AM

PRESCOTT – The term “quilt” comes from the Latin culcita, meaning a stuffed sack.  The word has come to have two meanings. It is used as noun, meaning the three-layer stitched bedcovering. It is also used as a verb, meaning the act of stitching through the three layers to hold them together.

A quilt is a cloth sandwich, with a top, which is usually the decorated part, a back, and a filler in the middle. Under the general term of patchwork are of three different types of quilts: (1) the plain or whole cloth quilt, (2) applique quilts, and (3) pieced or patchwork quilts.

The quilt, as we know it in America, was originally a strictly utilitarian article, born of the necessity of providing warm covers for beds. Quilts were also used as hangings for doors and windows that were not sealed well enough to keep out the cold. The earliest American quilts, made by English and Dutch settlers, were so intimately connected to everyday life of the early colonists that no record of them exists.

Those early settlers could not afford to simply discard things when they wore out; necessity required they carefully use their resources. Therefore, when blankets became worn, they were patched, combined with other blankets, or used as filler between other blankets. These were not carefully constructed heirlooms, rather they were functional items for the sole purpose of keeping people warm. Only in later years, when fabrics were being manufactured in America and were more affordable, freeing women from the work of making their own yarns and fabrics, did the more artistic type of quilting become more widespread.

In the 100 years between 1750 and 1850 thousands of quilts were pieced and patched, and many of them are preserved. Many of these quilts were so elaborate that years were spent making and quilting them. It is no wonder they are cherished as precious heirlooms and occupy honored places in homes and museums. Those early quilts provide a glimpse into the history of quilting as well as the history of the United States.

Quilting is an art and should be shared with others. There are many quilts out there, “put away”, as keepsakes in chests, dressers, boxes and attics.  Here is a perfect opportunity to take those quilts out of hiding and showcase them for others to see and enjoy.  The Nevada Co Depot and Museum will be sponsoring a Quilt Exhibit “For the Love of Quilts” February 3-28.  The museum has several heirloom quilts that will be on display.  If you have heirloom quilts, family quilts or new quilts that you would like to display in the quilt exhibit please call the museum.  We would love to show off your quilts. Quilts will be in a controlled environment and the museum has a security system, so quilts will be safe.  Call the museum for more information at 870-887-5821.