New Quilt Exhibit at the Nebraska History Museum

Block from crazy quilt made by the Ladies Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Filley, Nebraska. Source: 8636-1, Mrs. K.L McGill

A new quilt exhibit is now open at the Nebraska History Museum.  “Quilting for a Cause: Nebraska’s Fundraising Quilts”  features 15 quilts that were used in fundraising efforts from the Civil War to present day.

Quilts displayed were made to raise funds for everything from the Civil War and veterans’ groups, to the Populist Party, churches, schools, and youth organizations.

Although most of the quilts are from the Nebraska State Historical Society collections, quilts on loan are from the Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer in Grand Island, the Washington County Historical Society in Fort Calhoun, and the International Quilt Study Center in Lincoln.

Visitors will not only see the generosity of the quilters, but also the support that the greater communities had for these fundraising projects. The Ladies Aid Society in tiny Monowi, Nebraska, for example, raised ten cents each for 238 names on their 1928 fundraising quilt. At the time the population of Monowi itself was just over half that.

Nebraska’s quilters still have a strong tradition of fundraising. Visitors will see a contemporary quilt made by the Lincoln Quilters Guild and Special Olympics athletes, which raised funds for the Special Olympics USA National Games in Lincoln in 2010.

Quilting for a Cause is open through October 29, 2012. Visit the Nebraska History Museum on the corner of 15th and P Streets in Lincoln. Museum hours are Monday-Friday 9:00-4:30, Saturday and Sunday 1:00-4:30. The Museum is closed on Nebraska state holidays.

 -Laura Mooney, Senior Museum Curator

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