The Weston Historical Society’s major American Antique Quilt Show at the Coley Homestead will be on display during the hours of the Weston Farmers Market on Saturday, June 16, and Saturday, June 23, from 9 to noon.
The exhibit features an extensive display of 35 antique quilts, of fine quality and artistry, dating from 1830 until the end of the Great Depression. For contrast, some contemporary quilts are also shown to illustrate current tastes in colors and design which, interestingly, are not necessarily more daring than those of our great-great-great grandmothers.
The quilts are on view in three buildings: the Coley House, the Archives and the Barn. They are drawn mainly from the collections of Weston residents, specifically the Coley Family, the Bowden family, the Daniel family, the Moorehouse-Albin family, the Hill-Albin-Deysenroth family, and Marjorie White.
There is even an extraordinary “Crazy Quilt” on display sewn by Amelia Fitch, wife of 19th Century Weston farmer Ebeneezer Fitch of Goodhill Road, whose diaries of daily life in Weston more than 150 years ago were donated to the Weston Historical Society and represent another view back into local history.
Quilting began as a way of putting scraps of leftover fabrics to good use, either for warmth, decoration, or to commemorate events such as weddings and births. As an important folk art form, it reflects an era when “waste not” meant “want not,” when women gathered in quilting bees and fingers flew with thread and needle while the important news and gossip of the day were exchanged.
The exhibit is curated by Karin Giannitti, an avid quilter herself. The quilts have evocative names like log cabin, courthouse steps, oak leaves, grandmother’s fan, grandmother’s flower garden, puss in the corner, bow ties, princess feather, and perhaps the most free form version of all, the “crazy quilt.”