The quilt exhibit on April 29th was a huge success thanks to the hard work of Cassie Blair. Blair, who has worked at the museum for over a year through the Falcon Scholar Program at the University of Montevallo, spent an entire semester preparing for the exhibit, titled “A Stitch In Time: A Tribute To Shelby County’s Quilting History.”
With the help of local Master Quilter Agnes Pool, Cassie studied the museum’s collection of quilts, many of which had never been publicly displayed. Agnes explained the subtle details of each quilt and how those details can be used to learn when a quilt was made.
A selection of quilts dating from the late 1870s up to 1980s were on display, with patterns such as Lady of the Lake, Jacob’s Ladder, Rocky Road to Kansas, Flyfoot, Mariner’s Compass, Log Cabin and Mexican Rose.
Columbiana, which is where the Shelby County Museum & Archives is located, has a rich quilting history, but the purpose of the show was to pay tribute to quilters from all over Shelby County. And to do so, we revealed a unique quilt that contains over 550 names of people that lived in Shelby County in the early 1900’s.
The quilt is believed to have been made in 1915, based on a date that was embroidered on the quilt. The fabric and the red dye used in the embroidery seem to support that time frame. The backing, which is synthetic, was possibly added in 1970 or later. There are some theories floating around about who may have made the quilt, but further research will need to be done. In the meantime, the quilt has offered a nice glimpse back in time. Since it was revealed on April 29th, people have stopped by the museum to study the names and to find connections to their own family history.
To learn more about the quilt, stop by the museum anytime from Tuesday through Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.