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Library displays quilts, samplers from local museums

Library displays quilts, samplers from local museums


The latest art exhibit in Beatrice Public Library’s Vette Cultural Arts Center is stitched together from several galleries and pieces of history.

Entitled “A Stitch in Time” the exhibit displays quilts and samplers from the Flatwater Folk Art Museum and Gage County Historical Society.

According to the Historical Society, the Covered Wagon States quilt is made from patterns published in the Omaha World Herald from 1931 to 1940. The quilt was made in the Pickrell area by Emma Spilker and her mother, Hanna Heist, for Emma’s oldest son before he was born in January 1941.

One of the samplers, made by Nebraska native Cassia Kite, actually engages multiple senses. Underneath the sampler is a pair of headphones, which plays a song composed based on the colors used in the piece. In this case, it’s a small, white church, with a yellowish roof with orange playground equipment beside it.

“The samplers are so individualized…One that used lingerie fabric from Formfit Rogers, which used to be a sewing factory here. I love that one. But they all have such interesting stories,” library director Laureen Riedesel said.

Riedesel said the exhibit was originally planned in celebration of the centennial of the 19th amendment, but was postponed and extended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the first time since the library’s renovated space opened in 2018, the Asian furnishings and collectibles on the back wall of the Arts Center has been traded out to display some of the quilts.

“We’ve been talking about doing a quilt exhibit for some time, because we wanted to use that space in a different way than just the oriental pieces that we usually have there,” Riedesel said. “We wanted people to realize that that was a control display space. This seemed like a perfect chance to put those things together.”

Riedesel said the collection will return with new pieces that had been in the library’s storage.

The “Stitch in Time” exhibit will be on display during regular library hours through the end of October.

Riedesel said the next exhibit will be more quilts, but smaller in comparison and made to be art pieces.

The pieces are made and curated by Studio Art Quilt Associates, Midwest Fiber Art Alliance and Fiberworks, as well as other quilting hobbyists, who also currently have an exhibit curated in Homestead National Monument’s Education Center.


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