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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

Quilt documentation offered at BRI
Information will be added to Virginia Quilt Museum database
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Courtesy Photo: Experts check out a quilt during a past Blue Ridge Folklife Festival. The Blue Ridge Institute and Museum will offer a Documentation and Discovery Day for handmade quilts on Saturday, June. 1.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Owners of Virginia quilts can add to the craft history of the commonwealth by bringing their pre-2000 quilts to the Documentation & Discovery Day, which will be held Saturday, June 1 at Ferrum College's Blue Ridge Institute & Museum. 

Volunteers for the Virginia Consortium of Quilters will be photographing and recording information about the quilts and their makers from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The records will be added to the Virginia Quilt Museum's statewide database. 

No appointments are needed, and there is no charge.  The documentation process usually takes about 15 minutes per quilt.

The quilts being documented are not limited to historical creations.

"We're also looking for 20th century quilts to see how quilters and quilt styles have changed over the past century," said Neva Hart, local quilt historian from Hardy. "The emphasis will be on quilts made by Virginians, but all quilts brought to the Documentation Day will be recorded."

The Documentation & Discovery Day is part of an ongoing effort to record Virginia's quilt artistry and history. 

"About 25 years ago, a statewide program was begun to create a database of older quilts in the commonwealth," said Hart.

The original project took more than five years and documented over 3,000 quilts. The results were published in 2006.

"We learned a lot about quilts from that effort, but the book only covered quilts made before 1900," Hart added. "Now we hope to document quilts we may have missed the first time and to document quilts from new residents."

Roddy Moore, director of the Blue Ridge Institute & Museum, which is sponsoring the Documentation Day, thinks there are many quilts from this region of Virginia that were not included in the earlier documentation for various reasons.

"By studying quilts, we can learn what people used to wear, about their lifestyle and how communities interacted when the quilt was made," said Moore. "Documenting quilts often leads to discovering new information."

Owners of quilts who want their pieces documented can bring them (limit of three quilts per person) to the Blue Ridge Institute & Museum at 20 Museum Drive in Ferrum on June 1. Owners are asked to bring photos of the quilt makers, if available, and any information known about the maker.

For more information, contact Neva Hart by email at, or by phone 540-427-0184.

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