Quilting Symposium Coming to Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley

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Quilting Symposium Coming to Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley
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Events, Historical Moments, Shenandoah Valley, Surprising Sophistication

The Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society is very excited to host “A Focus on Quilts from the Lower Shenandoah Valley” September 19 and 20, 2014. A wonderful group of quilt experts have agreed to come and share their knowledge.

The symposium will begin at the Hollingsworth Mill on Friday, September 19 with a quilt documentation led by quilt appraiser and historian, Neva Hart.  This project is sponsored by the Virginia Consortium of Quilters, which archives all the information.  Attendees are invited to bring up to three undocumented quilts to be measured, photographed, dated, and patterns identified. If available, it is requested that a photo of the quilt maker(s) be provided. The data gathered will be recorded for future use by researchers of history, genealogy, and material culture of Virginia.  This is a continuation of earlier documentation projects. We are hoping to have a good turnout for this quilt documentation, and we encourage all members and their friends to bring in their quilts.  To sign up, please call the Society office at 540/662-6550.

On Friday afternoon, an optional field trip out to Apple Pie Ridge to visit “Cherry Row” is being offered.  Participants will be able to view the quilt collection of Dr. David and Jenny Powers.
Alden O’Brien, Quilt and Textiles Curator, DAR Museum, will be the first speaker on “The Quilts of Amelia Lauck.” Amelia Lauck, (c. 1760-1842) was a master quilter from Winchester. She created identical quilts for three of her six children which are today considered masterpieces of American folk art.

Saturday’s program will begin with Mary Robare, independent researcher, who will speak on “Tracking the Apple Pie Ridge Star: Quakers and Quilts across America.” This illustrated presentation explores the exchange and transmission of one quilt block pattern that was shared within the Society of Friends by a people also known as “Quakers.” A brief overview of the behavioral patterns of Quakers provides perspective on how ideas and quilt designs were transmitted.

Pam Pampe will present “Quilts for Two Centuries”. The roles of women in 19th and 20th century societies changed due to the social pressures of historical events. The way quilts were made and the images they reflected also changed. The two changes did not happen in isolation, but as a direct manifestation of the social and economic pressures of the times.

The next presentor is Neva Hart who will speak on “Shenandoah Patriots – Martz Family Quilts, 1838-1860.” The Martz family lived in the northern Shenandoah Valley since before the American Revolution. Two known family quilts exist which tell living descendants about the culture and political sentiments of their ancestors during the mid-1800s. Along with family records, the quilts reveal information about transportation and trade, horticulture, and politics of the era.
Finally, Linda Eaton will conclude the symposium with “Domesticating Quilts: Furnishings, Formalism, and Folk Art.” This topic will include a discussion on professional quilters and upholsterers, the formal design of many quilt formats and their relation to neoclassical architecture, and how quilts became connected with “folk art.”

All lectures will take place at Shenandoah University, the Stimpson Auditorium, Harry F. Byrd School of Business. Registration is $65 for members and $75 for non-members.  Telephone 540/662-6550 to register by phone. To upload a registration form online, CLICK HERE or please visit our website at winchesterhistory.org.

Note – Quilt shown is Rosenberger family quilt c. 1930.

If you are a quilt enthusiast, make sure you plan a trip to the Virginia Quilt Museum in Harrisonburg, Virginia.  One of two quilt museums in the United States.