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Nobles County Historical Society to host program on quilts

Mary Rydeen (left) and Roger Zarn hold up one of the quilts to be on display in an upcoming quilt exhibit at the museum. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

WORTHINGTON — The Nobles County Historical Society will host a Lunch at the Museum event Jan. 18, featuring guest speaker Laurie Ness of Pipestone. A long-time quilter and volunteer with the Pipestone Civil War Days, Ness will present a historical talk about quilts and quilting.

“It’s geared for the person that doesn’t know quilting,” Ness said. Her presentation will detail the early history of quilts and how they evolved from layers upon layers of cloth used as armor to protect soldiers, to the modern-day quilting that is popular today.

Ness will also explain quilting terminology, hand versus machine quilting, what makes quilts valuable and the types of material and batting used in making quilts.

The public is invited to attend the noon-hour program and bring along lunch if they like. The NCHS will provide beverages, and free-will donations are welcomed by the historical society.

The lunch hour program is planned in advance of the historical society museum’s quilt exhibit opening Jan. 28. The exhibit, last done two years ago, will feature some of the quilts in the NCHS collection, but the hope is people from the county will offer to display the old quilts passed down through their family.

“We would like the public, if they would like to exhibit their mother’s, grandmother’s or great-grandmother’s quilt — vintage quilts — we’d like them to bring the quilts to the office and we’ll include them in the exhibit,” said NCHS staff member Roger Zarn. “If there’s history associated with the quilt ... we would like to know that.”

The quilts will be displayed with whatever information is provided, such as who made the quilt, when it was made and who loaned the quilt for the exhibit.

Zarn said more than 70 quilts were included in the exhibit two years ago. He’s hoping for as many quilts this time.

The featured quilt will be the Red Cross quilt that is in the NCHS’s collection. It was made as a Nobles County fundraiser for the Red Cross in the 1940s. Each person who gave a 10-cent donation got their name stitched on the quilt, and each community in the county had a square. The fundraiser made $237.57 for the Red Cross treasury.

People interested in displaying vintage quilts in the exhibit should call the NCHS at 376-4431. Zarn said quilts may be brought to the museum starting Jan. 22. Hours are noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Individuals will be asked to sign a loan agreement.

The quilt exhibit will open with a reception and refreshments from 1 to 3 p.m. Jan. 28 at the museum, located in the lower level of the War Memorial Building, 407 12th St., Worthington. It will remain in place through Feb. 28, but could be extended an additional month.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at The Farm Bleat

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