Vt. museum observes prize quilt’s 150th anniversary
BENNINGTON, Vt. – The year 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the Jane Stickle Quilt, which was created in Vermont during the Civil War.
Quilters, quilt collectors, and folk art enthusiasts travel from around the country and world to see the Jane Stickle Quilt during the brief period it is on display each year. In celebration of the quilt’s 150th year, the museum developing an expanded exhibition that incorporates the results of new research on the history of the quilt, the woman who created it, and the troubled times in which it was created. The Jane Stickle Quilt will be on display at the Bennington Museum in Bennington from Aug. 31 through Oct. 14.
The quilt, one of the Bennington Museum’s greatest treasures, is comprised of 169 five-inch blocks, each in a different pattern, containing a remarkable total of 5,602 pieces, all surrounded by a unique scalloped border. The craftsmanship of the quilt has been mentioned in numerous quilting books, and is the topic of Dear Jane, The Two Hundred Twenty-Five Patterns from the 1863 Jane A. Stickle Quilt, by Brenda Papadakis. This quilt is world-renowned and a perfect example of American folk art.
Recently discovered information from the museum’s records and rarely seen artwork by Stickle, along with some items related to both the quilt and quilter, will be on view for the first time.
Additionally, Pam Weeks, a recognized scholar of 19th-century/Civil War-era quilts, will be a contributing writer to the museum’s scholarly journal, the Walloomsac Review. Week’s article will be the result of new research findings on the history of the Stickle Quilt and its ties—personal and otherwise—to the Civil War.
Jane Stickle was born Jane Blakely on April 8, 1817 in Shaftsbury, Vt. She married Walter Stickle sometime before 1850. The two did not have a family of their own and led a simple life in Shaftsbury. During a period when she was alone in the 1860s, Jane lovingly created what is now known as the Jane Stickle Quilt. As a lasting reminder of the turbulent times the country was going through, she carefully embroidered “In War Time 1863” into the quilt. Due to its extreme rarity and fragility, the quilt is shown for only a short period each year to limit light exposure.
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