Monday, January 18, 2010

Qad! Qad! Local antique quilt alert!

What does QAD stand for? Around here, that's short for Quilt Appreciation Days. Put February 5 and 6 on your calendar and come out next month to the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum on Harkers Island, North Carolina. See QAD in action for yourself. For those of you not familiar with the coastline of North Carolina, Harkers Island is tucked into a crook of the Downeast peninsula.

Until electricity was strung to Harkers Island in 1939 and then a bridge built in 1941, the island was only reachable by boat. But now the once-remote island hosts thousands of visitors every year. The visitors center for the Cape Lookout Seashore stands at the eastern tip of the island and is right next door to the Museum where we'll hold Quilt Appreciation Days the first Friday and Saturday in February.

We're hoping that folks from many local communities will look in their closets and drag boxes out from under the bed and unearth their old quilts and bring them in. Think of it as a giant 'show-n-tell' session. If there are stories about the quilts and their makers, so much the better! Oral historians will be on hand to record the tales. There's Lynn Gorges, textile historian and preservationist from New Bern, NC, and then there's myself (general old quilt enthusiast) who will be on hand to examine the quilts. We'll measure each quilt, check their condition, give general advice on preserving and cleaning, and even look up the pattern name if you don't know it. Here's what we WON'T do: appraise the quilt for a dollar amount. This event is not about the money! We're doing this because we love antique quilts and want to help other people--the people who own the quilts--appreciate the work and love that went into these unique textile documents and to better take care of them.

A couple of years ago we held the first-ever Quilt Appreciation Day. Even in the then-unheated wing of the Museum, we saw a steady stream of people bearing armloads of quilts over the two days. We think we saw over 120 quilts! I don't recall the exact figure--my memory's kind of blurry after the first hundred!And now we'll be in the heated large hall, toasty and warm, and even have an exhibit of antique quilts around the walls.

If you're interested in old quilts and would like to help at this event, we'd love to see you. Please come on Friday January 29 to the Museum--there's going to be training sessions for recorders, greeters, photographer's assistants, and quilt scribes. Nope, no pay of any kind! Well, maybe lunch!
Just friendship and the opportunity to pet quilts and share our common passion for the craft. Call the Museum at 252-728-1500 for more information and ask for Pam or Joanie.