The Willamette Heritage Center is hosting Stitches and Stories: Discoveries from the Oregon Quilt Project, from September 27 to December 23, 2019, to celebrate the conclusion of the decade long quilt documentation mission of the OQP. Quilts have been gathered from throughout Oregon for this special exhibit. See the quilts, hear the stories and learn something new about this timeless fabric art.
“Quilt Detectives: Ready to Solve Your Quilt Mysteries” will be held on October 8 and 22 from 10 AM to 2 PM. The OQP experts will be available to examine quilts on fabrics, colors, patterns, designs, history and care. The examination is free with regular admission to WHC. This event is sponsored by a generous grant from Mid-Valley Quilt Guild.
For more information, visit Oregon Quilt Project (www.oregonquiltproject.org) or Willamette Heritage Center (www.willametteheritage.org).
Quilts have been arriving in Oregon since the 1840’s and have continuously been made since that time. Every quilt reveals a story captured within its fabrics, colors, designs and stitches. They are textile documents recording personal stories of families, people and historical events.
In 2009, a group of volunteers – quilters, quilt historians, and quilt enthusiasts - believed that it was time to survey, record, preserve and share the stories of Oregon quilts and their creators for future generations. Most other states have completed similar documentation projects and shared their findings. The Beaver State counts itself as having completed its documentation project this year, 2019.
The original project was launched in 2009 and reorganized in 2012 as a project of the Willamette Heritage Center in Salem, Oregon. The Heritage Center is located at the historic Thomas Kay Woolen Mill, a site with rich textile history of its own. Since the first quilt documentation day in April, 2010, more than 1,800 quilts have been recorded. With permission from the quilt owners, the information collected by the OQP is included in a national database, The Quilt Index at Michigan State University in Lansing. The histories and images of more than 70,000 quilts from across the United States have already been filed on the Quilt Index, whose information may be accessed free of charge, via the internet.