The West Gadsden Historical Society invites the public to join them on Saturday, March 25th for the annual Airing of the Quilts and Spring Bazaar.
The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Dezell House Museum, 328 E. 8th Street in Greensboro.
Walk into the home of someone that has lived in Gadsden County all their life and I can guarantee you’ll find a beautiful handmade quilt displayed or hiding somewhere. Chances are the quilt was made by someone long passed into family history, becoming an heirloom handed down through the generations. Quilting isn’t a uniquely southern skill, but our foremothers took this utilitarian craft and turned it into an artform.
A quilt is made up of three parts: a back, a layer of padding or batting in the middle, and a decorative top. During the 18th and 19th century, quilting was strictly a practical craft. Quilts were used as bed coverings as well as coverings for drafty windows and doors. There are several different quilting styles, but the patchwork quilt is the most common. Settlers in our rural region didn’t let anything go to waste. Anything from scraps of fabric to flour and feed sacks would be pieced together and made into a quilt.
Prior to West Gadsden Historical Society’s annual Airing of the Quilts, we scour the area in search of these unique textile treasures to display and enjoy. Several years ago, WGHS was entrusted by James Smith, of Dogtown, with hand pieced quilt squares which had never been completed into quilt tops. Made by James’ mother, Cleo Larkin Smith and her mother Missouri Lodge Larkin during the 1930 to 1950’s, these beautifully executed squares had been packed away for completing in the future. After painstakingly matching these squares, six quilt tops have been constructed by Shirley Clark. Just think of the hours Missouri and Cleo spent clipping, stitching, chatting, and delighting in each other’s company to produce these treasures. Many are appliquéd and one is a friendship quilt containing the names of Cleo’s Gadsden High School, in Quincy, graduating class of 1933.
Come and view this year’s collection. Our Spring Bazaar will run concurrently with local vendors offering arts, crafts, plants, and other homemade one-of-a-kind items which just might be handed down also to future generations and appreciated for years to come. If you are interested in sharing a quilt for exhibition, or would like to be a merchandise or food vendor, please contact the West Gadsden Historical Society at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jane Clark – Gadsden County News Service