Friday, April 22, 2005
Reprinted with permission from the Texarkana Gazette
By ANTHONY DAVIS
The Texarkana Museum of Regional History is not undergoing renovation, although the colorful fabric that lines the walls of the museum now resembles fashionable wall art.
The broad, colorful materials are actually an exhibit of 23 quilts recalling times and materials from 1855 to the 1970s.
"Quilting Madness" has taken over the two galleries of the regional repository of all things historic about the Texarkana area with elegant hand-embroidered embellishments and unique detailing and stitching.
"Each quilt tells a different story of the woman of the family who made the quilt," said Ina McDowell, TMS executive director. "Many quilts have no particular pattern and some have patterns so precise that it is hard to believe it was done by hand. They echo a time when nothing was wasted. The quilt pattern called 'sunshine and shadow,' dated 1920, is designed using 1-inch squares of different swatches as no piece was too small to save."
Another beautiful piece is a coverlet dated 1896 by M.M. Rooks Purifoy includes stitched patterns of an owl perched on the tip of a crescent moon, Saturn, snowflakes and even a spider for good luck. Another "throw" circa 1890 sports an initial embroidered in the center of each square, likely because each square was sewn by a different quilter.
Of special interest is a "star variation" quilt dated 1886 that tells a personal story of Ellen Draughon Sereque, the youngest child of Capt. James Draughon, builder of the Draughon/Moore Ace of Clubs House, another historic site under the auspices of TMS.
The message reads: "My whole life is in that quilt. It scares me sometime when I look at it. All my joys and all my sorrows are stitched into those little squares."
Another unusual pattern/fabric mélange reflects the dramatic story of a woman deeply depressed about her husband.
Each of the quilts are made of a variety of styles and fabric combinations that reflected something about the lives of the women who made them. Whatever fabric materials were available were subject to be used in such a way that the materials' beauty and function was retained.
"Quilting Madness" is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through the month of April. Members of TMS are admitted free of charge. Admission is $4 for adults. For more information call 903-793-4831.
P.O. Box 621
Texarkana, USA 75504
©2005 Texarkana Gazette
Editor's note, the QuilterCommunity.com: This exhibit has past, but we thought
the information and stories were something our readers would like to read about.