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Museum all wrapped up in quilting this summer

by: COURTESY PHOTO - Volunteers do a detailed analysis of a quilt to be entered into the Oregon Quilt Projects extensive database at an event like the one set for May 31 at the Washington County Museum.A summer-long exhibit at the Washington County Museum will feature the work of quilters from pioneer days to the present.

The “Timeless Stitches” exhibit will open May 21 and run through early September.

The first four weeks, “The Sum of Many Parts: Quiltmakers in Contemporary America,” features contemporary American quilts originally commissioned as a cultural heritage exchange to China.

In June, dozens of quilts will rotate on a bi-weekly basis.

The Oregon Quilt Project — a multi-year, statewide survey of quilts in Oregon — will accept quilts from the public to be entered into the state database during a documentation day.

Visitors may reserve a half-hour appointment to have the Oregon Quilt Project volunteers do an in-depth assessment of the quilt, during which they’ll note its style, techniques, history, measurements and condition to be entered into databases used by textile researchers worldwide. The cost is $10 per quilt, and individuals can enter only two quilts.

Quilt owners will receive a copy of the documentation, a photograph of the quilt and a cloth tag with the documentation number that can be sewn onto the quilt. To reserve a time, call 503-645-5353, Ext. 114. Reservations are accepted through May 28. Quiet observation of the process will be allowed during the documentation hours 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m.

Members of the Westside Quilters Guild have been helping assemble the exhibit. They’ll provide several quilt racks for displaying and members will host events, including hands-on activities for children during a free family day Saturday, June 14, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Every Thursday through July from noon to 1 p.m., a free lecture series will take place at the museum relating to the art and craft of quilting. Attendees are encouraged to bring along samples of their own to share.

Thursday, June 12, Kate Powell of MPF Conservation in Portland, will offer textile care and conservation tips and techniques. According to Powell, one of the most frequent sources of damage to antique or vintage textiles results from storing them in “Grandma’s cedar chest,” as the oils in these trunks can cause serious damage.

On July 24, Mary Bywater Cross, a noted quilt historian, artist and consultant will present “Timeless Stitches: The Importance of Documenting Quilts as Visual Records of Personal Experience.” She will discuss the importance of documenting the quilt maker’s personal history for the background of the quilt’s design. Cross is the author of several quilting books including “Quilts of the Oregon Trail.”

On Aug. 2, local quilter Jo Ann Tannock and Oregon Quilt Project volunteer Eileen Fitzsimons will host a seminar on the care and repair of family quilts. The public is invited to bring quilts they are interested in repairing so they can continue to be used. While the presenters will not be doing the repairs, they’ll talk about tips and techniques for keeping the quilt in usable condition.

Thursday Threaders, a local quilting group, is also planning to meet on Thursdays to work on projects.

On the fourth Saturdays in June, July and August, Westside Quilters Guild members and museum staff will host a “bed turning,” a social event where quilts are presented and viewed. Originally, ladies would stack their quilts on the bed, invite their friends over for tea, then turn the quilts back one by one, talking about how each quilt was made, what stories it told and other interesting bits of history. Visitors may bring their own quilts.

The museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.



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