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Expert to present lecture, trunk show at Quilted Crow

Published August 23. 2010 05:00PM

Quilting expert Mary Archibald will present a trunk show and lecture entitled "Women's Work ... A Chronicle of the American Quilt," at The Quilted Crow, 179 Interchange Road, Lehighton, on Saturday, Aug. 28 at 10:30 a.m. and at 12:30 p.m. There is a fee to attend.

The title, "Women's Work," reflects historical trends. Women made the majority of all quilts and in some contexts, the term 'work' often referred to sewing, and more specifically hand-sewing.

While some sort of quilt-making has existed globally for at least 4,000 years, the timeline for this show includes quilts from circa 1615 to circa 1950, as it developed first in England and then in America.

The program consists of a group of traveling speakers, dressed in historically-correct clothing, and their quilts. The trunk show primarily displays reproduction quilts that chronicle women's work through quilt making.

The show does include a few antique quilts, which are rotated in and out of the show, to help preserve them. Due to the fragile nature and hard use of quilts, very few quilts have survived to become antiques, and many of these are now in museums and private collections.

The majority of the quilts to be shown have been produced by Archibald and Kathy Rachiele. They recreated them from known patterns, reproduction or similar fabrics and extant quilts.

In addition to Archibald and Rachiele, several other women have contributed research, quilts, ideas and time to the development of the program, including Jan Macbeth of Palmerton.

Archibald is a lecturer, painter, quilt teacher and quilt historian from Cape May, N.J. She is a prolific quilt maker with an emphasis on historical recreations of antique quilts, reproducing styles and patterns of by-gone eras.

Archibald attributes some of her interest in quilt history to a friendship with a fellow quilt-making enthusiast, a Quaker neighbor, who shared many traditions with her that she had learned as a child.

As a result, she began to study quilt history and became part of a small group of like-minded individuals who began to research the subject extensively. These women became "The Yesteryear Quilters."

Archibald graduated from Glassboro College with a major in fine arts. She is a member of the American Quilt Studies Group. She is also a member of The Batso Quilters and several regional quilt guilds. She has entered many of her quilts in local shows, where she has garnered awards and mentions.

She made her first quilt at the age of 16, using leftover scraps from her dressmaking projects. For the past 25 years she has served as a 4-H leader, where she teaches sewing and quilt-making to young people.

For more information on the lecture and trunk show, call The Quilted Crow at (610) 379-4700.

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