Purposeful Stitches: Community Quilts

Old Settler's Signature Quilt, 1908-1910.

Old Settler’s Signature Quilt, 1908-1910.

Our new exhibit, Purposeful Stitches: Community Quilts opens on Sat., February 20, 2016.

Detail of Old Settler's Signature Quilt, 1908-1910.

Detail of Old Settler’s Signature Quilt, 1908-1910.

During the late 19th century women’s groups became an important part of the community.  Groups like the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), and the Women’s Relief Corp (WRC), were more than social gatherings, these groups had a purpose. Traditional sewing skills were used in their efforts to support and raise funds for charitable activities.  In the churches, groups known as the Women’s Mission Circle or Society and Ladies Aid Society organized and sewed clothing and other necessities for destitute people.  Quilts were also made and sold to provide funds for church projects, including buildings and furnishings,  as well as for missionaries.  By the 1880s, fundraising quilts were a staple of women’s organizations helping to raise money for social causes.

Woman's Relief Signature Quilt, n.d.

Woman’s Relief Signature Quilt, n.d.

Woman's Relief Corp Signature Quilt detail, n.d.

Detail of Woman’s Relief Corp Signature Quilt, n.d.

The exhibit will feature quilts from the museum’s collection that were made for fundraising by various groups in Harvey County. Other signature quilts, including friendship and family quilts will be included.