Quilting in Early New England the Focus of Old Sturbridge Village Textile Weekend Aug. 18-19

Monday, July 30, 2012

Country Quilting Party, tours, and hands-on crafts; A Timeline of New England's Early Quilts display

(Sturbridge, Mass.) July 30, 2012 – Historians at Old Sturbridge Village will highlight quilting techniques and fashions in early New England quilting during the Village's annual Textile Weekend celebration to be held Aug. 18-19.  Costumed interpreters will lead quilt-themed tours and gallery talks throughout the day, including one on “Pieces and Patience: Appliqué Quilts in New England.” Visitors can learn how the fashions in quilts changed through a display of handmade reproduction quilts, "Piecing It All Together: A Timeline of New England's Early Quilts" and they can visit with ladies gathered for an old-fashioned "Country Quilting Party." Guests can make their own needle case or quilted teapot mat, ($5 per craft), learn to do paper piecing for an hexagonal quilt, and vote for the winning quilt in the Old Sturbridge Village Member Quilt Challenge competition. Details: www.osv.org; 800-SEE-1830.

Although early 19th-century country stores offered  a wide variety of factory-made fabrics for sale, women still needed to sew these fabrics into the majority of textiles  used by their families -- including quilts. And even though many frugal New England women made quilts from scraps of fabric for practical, everyday use, their skill and artistry are astonishing, OSV historians note.

"Today we marvel at the beauty and artistry of early quilts,” says Jean Contino, Old Sturbridge Village coordinator of households, horticulture and women’s crafts. "The quilt-makers' use of color, and the intricacy of their piecing and stitching make these quilts true works of art.”

“It's hard to fathom just how much time a woman spent with needle in hand in early New England,” Contino says. “Sewing clothing and bedding for the family was a necessary -- but endless -- task and girls began learning to sew as soon as they could hold a needle.” 

Old Sturbridge Village celebrates New England life in the 1830s and is one of the largest living history museums in the country.  The museum is open daily 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. seven days a week.  OSV offers free parking and a free return visit within 10 days. Admission: $24; seniors $22; children 3-17, $8; children 2 and under, free. For times and details of all OSV activities visit: www.osv.org or call 1-800-SEE-1830.

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Ann Lindblad
VP Communications
Old Sturbridge Village

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