WOODSTOCK – Nine quilts from the McHenry County Historical Society’s collection will be on display Jan. 15 through Feb. 26 at the Woodstock Opera House.
The quilts date from the 1860s into the1930s and highlight a variety of quilt patterns from the Society’s extensive collection of about 150 quilts. They include an 1895 Crazy quilt made by women from Algonquin to raise money for the Algonquin Committee Band and an 1889 Signature quilt was made by the Ladies Aid Society of the Congregational Church of Huntley. It boats more than 300 signatures in the various quilt blocks including the name of the minister (Hartley) and the date 1889. This quilt, auctioned off to raise money for the First Congregational Church, netted $25.
A local Roly Poly Circus Redwork quilt dating to 1923. Newspapers across America, on a daily or weekly basis, published circus animals designed by quilter Ruby Short McKim. These templates often ran in the Sunday children's section.
Recycling, after all, remains a part of quilting even today. Another highlight of the exhibit, a Double T quilt created at the turn of the century, used five feed sacks on the backing. One feed sack has visible printing that says “Woodstock, IL, Distributed, and Weight.”
Feed manufacturers made a point of printing a myriad of designs on the sacks – specifically for the farmers’ wives who coveted them for quilting.
The free exhibit is available for viewing during box office hours – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For information about the McHenry County Historical Society & Museum call 815-923-2267 or visit www.gothistory.org. The Heritage Quilters each Wednesday morning throughout the year at the Society’s museum at 6422 Main St. in Union. Beginners are welcome.