Valentine’s Tea Opens Historical Society Quilt Exhibit

photo caption: Victorian “Crazy Quilt” used scraps of silk and velvet, with embroidered fruits, flowers, and initials, is one of the unique and rarely-seen quilts on display this month.
photo caption: Victorian “Crazy Quilt” used scraps of silk and velvet, with embroidered fruits, flowers, and initials, is one of the unique and rarely-seen quilts on display this month.

Antique, handmade quilts will be on display at the Historical Society’s new exhibit, “Quilts: A Labor of Love”


These gorgeous hand-crafted quilts are both true works of art, as well as a reminder of how ordinary things can be made into something extraordinary,” noted New Canaan Historical Society executive director Janet Lindstrom. “We hope everyone will come out to celebrate our new exhibit and join us for some sandwiches and sweets,” she continued.


New Canaan, CT, February 3, 2014   – A rare and unique exhibit of hand-pieced antique quilts will be on display this month at the New Canaan Historical Society. The exhibit will open Wednesday, February 12, 2014, during the Society’s annual Valentine’s Day tea, which will take place from 12-3 p.m. that day. Exhibit is free; Valentine’s Day tickets are $10 for Society members, $15 for non-members. Please call 203/966.1776 to make a reservation; more info is available at http://www.nchistory.org.


Quilt-making in New England was common from the early 1600s through the early 1900s. Earlier New England quilts (made between 1620-1680) were “sturdy, warm, never gaudy, simple, and rich.” Once trade was established, finish printed fabrics from Europe became more available and quilts became more elaborate. 

Quilts were brought to America by both Dutch and English settlers. The necessity for warmth, something that could be cleaned fairly easily, and which was made from materials that could be grown in this climate made quilting a necessity, a social outlet, and an art form. A ragbag became a part of every household and every piece of fabric was precious. It was said that girls tried to have a baker’s dozen of quilts put aside for their betrothal.

The quilts in the Historical Society’s exhibit feature Victorian-era quilts. Silks and velvets predominate, and often came from silk ties and cravats. These were more decorative quilts, and were thrown over pianos, chairs, and chaises and were found more often in the parlor than in the bedroom.

Please call 203/966-1776 to reserve your seat at the New Canaan Historical Society’s Victorian Tea on February 12 and plan on visiting their one-of-a-kind exhibit of quilts.


Please note upcoming children’s programs:


Children’s Victorian Valentine’s Day Tea and Workshop: Tuesday, February 11, 2014, 4-5:30

Children will make Victorian-inspired cards and a special craft to give as a gift. (Members: $15, non-members: $20)


Winter Recess Mini-Camp: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, February 19, 20, 21, 9:30-12.

What was life like in New Canaan 200 years ago? Children ages 5-10 will find out each morning as they explore the museums, prepare crafts and tasty old-fashioned treats, and play colonial games. Sign up for 1, 2, or all 3 days. (Members: $25 per day, non-members, $30 per day)



The New Canaan Historical Society turns 125 this year! 

To learn more about the New Canaan Historical Society, to become a member, or for more information upcoming events and programs please Like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NewCanaanHistoricalSociety or visit them at www.NCHistory.org



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