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History retold in patchwork

Special to The Hays Daily News

LOGAN -- Dane G. Hansen Memorial Museum will present "Perfecting the Past: Colonial Revival Quilts" from Oct. 11 to Dec. 1.

The exhibition was created by the International Quilt Study Center and Museum of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The Colonial Revival was a cultural movement that portrayed the colonial era as a simple and noble time. Strongest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Colonial Revival romanticized colonial life and idealized the domestic sphere.

It is no surprise, then, the Colonial Revival sparked renewed interest in making needlework items that had been popular in previous generations such as cross-stitch samplers, hooked rugs and quilts. Textiles traditionally have been closely connected to women's lives, and quilting, in particular, allowed women to believe they were participating in a needle art practiced by their colonial grandmothers.

By making quilts like their foremothers supposedly had made (even though quilt making was a fairly rare activity in colonial days -- performed mainly by the wealthy and rarely incorporating patchwork or applique), women felt they were participating not only in tradition, but also in history.

Colonial Revival quilts reflect the complexity of the movement itself. They could be pieced, repeating block-style quilts or applique quilts, and they could be hand- or machine-sewn. They incorporate elements of tradition and modernity, and demonstrate how quiltmakers often used historic design source along with modern techniques to create quilts that are a unique blend of romance and reality.

Museum hours 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays; and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays and holidays.

There is no admission fee. For more information (785) 689-4846 or visit www. hansenmuseum.org.