Special Civil War quilts at NEQM until July 10.

Discovery leads to even more special exhibition at New England Quilt Museum

Lowell, MA – Nearly a quarter-million quilts were made for wounded and returning Civil War soldiers, but fewer than twenty are known to survive. Of those, eleven are so-called “potholder” quilts of the kind featured in the current One Foot Square, Quilted & Bound exhibit at New England Quilt Museum, which includes several Civil War pieces constructed with this rare block-by-block technique.

When the NEQM announcement postcard for One Foot Square went out, guest curator Pam Weeks got a call from the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut to announce that they had a Civil War potholder quilt in their collection. When Weeks saw the Mystic quilt, she nearly fainted from excitement. It was the “sister” to an autograph quilt owned by the Brick Store Museum in Kennebunk, Maine which was hanging in the One Foot Square exhibit. Many of the blocks and signatures were identical, done in 1864 by a group of patriotic women from the Portland, Maine neighborhood of Munjoy Hill.

The quilts have now been reunited for the first time in 150 years. See them both at the New England Quilt Museum before One Foot Square closes July 10th!