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New England’s Early Quilts and Quilters

Wednesday, January 22 @ 5:45 pm - 7:00 pm |

What kinds of quilts covered New Englanders’ beds in the colonial and Early Republic eras?   Where did women find the inspiration for their designs?  What was the impact of the Industrial Revolution on quilt design?  The first half of this lecture by guest curator Lynne Z. Bassett examines these questions; the second half of the lecture turns to the women who made quilts.

Using information culled from thirty-four early New England diaries dating from 1750 to 1850, Bassett offers a study of the labor of quilting.  What was the seasonal rhythm of quilting?  How long did it take to make a quilt?  How common was cooperative labor?  Bassett concludes her lecture by analyzing the romantic nostalgia that developed around American quilt making beginning in the mid-1800s, and how that nostalgia colored the historical understanding of quilts and the labor of quilt making for the next 150 years.

$10 for CHS members, $15 for non-members. Light refreshments will be served. Please let us know you’re coming by calling (860) 236-5621 x238 or emailing rsvp@chs.org.

Doors open at 5:00; presentation begins at 5:45. Come early to view our latest exhibit, Pieces of American History: Connecticut Quilts.

Questions? Contact Natalie Belanger, Adult Programs Manager, at natalie_belanger@chs.org.

Image: detail of Pieced Star of Bethlehem Quilt made by Clarissa Treadwell, c. 1850, CHS 2009.120.1 

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To support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, the Connecticut Historical Society is closed to the public through July 31. All on-site programs and events are canceled during this time. Our Annual Meeting has been postponed until September 14. Click here for CHS's digital programs.