Eureka Springs Historical Museum offers quilt exhibit through July 31
By Samantha Jones
The Eureka Springs Historical Museum is showing off its quilt collection this summer. The museum’s new exhibit, called Our History in Quilts, runs from May 10-July 31.
The exhibit features the museum’s collection of quilts dating back to the mid-1800s, with five stunning contemporary quilts created by the Eureka Springs Quilt Guild being shown for the first time. Those quilts feature famous landmarks in Eureka Springs. Dawn Ward, who works with the museum, said Eureka Springs has a deep history when it comes to quilting.
“We’ve had large quilting guilds here since the 1800s, so we have quilts that date back to the mid-1800s,” Ward said. “This is the first time the Eureka Springs Quilt Guild has shared some of these with the public. They are beautiful. They picture Eureka Springs landmarks like the roundhouse. That’s very exciting.”
Also featured in the exhibit is a very rare red cross quilt signed by Eureka Springs residents in the 1930s. There are a few other quilts from that time period, Ward said, created by ladies involved in the Live Wire Club.
“They were a quilting guild that started in the early 1900s and ended in the 1940s,” Ward said. “We have a quilt from them, as well as these quilt blocks that are all signed but were never finished. There’s lots of interesting needlework and embroidery, and a big variety in style.”
She said quilts reflect a time many have forgotten –– a time when sewing machines didn’t exist and quilters put intense labor into their creations.
“I think quilts are somewhat priceless when it comes to that,” Ward said. “They’re not extremely valuable dollar wise as much as they are when it comes to historical value. We displayed them so you can engage in the patterns and see the stitching and the variety of fabrics used.”
She continued, “Some of them were made from silks. Until I started this project, I didn’t realize people made quilts from silk material.”
The museum is having a fundraiser raffle for a chance to win a quilted wall-hanging from the former Quilt Shop or one of two gift certificates donated by the Quilter’s Cottage and Red Scottie Fibers for the Fleece & Flax shop downtown. Raffle tickets are $2 each or three for $5.
Eureka Springs Historical Museum is located at 95 S. Main St. and is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.