Heritage House Museum of Montgomery County

Museum Quilt Block Joins State Quilt Trail

Heritage House Museum was recently featured on the Arkansas Quilt Trail Facebook page. The museum has a quilt block displayed on the Exhibit Barn which is the first on the developing Montgomery County Quilt Trail. 

The pattern, “Four Tulips” is found on the Exhibit Barn at the Heritage House Museum of Montgomery County at 819 Luzerne St. in Mount Ida and can be clearly seen as one drives by the museum.
The quilt block is, appropriately, a painted reproduction of a quilt that is on display in the museum, that was donated by Alice Widener and Viola Widener Payte. 

According to Betty Wheeler who compiled the history of the quilt, the quilt was made by her Great-grandmother, Sarah Standridge Wheeler. She and several of her older daughters made quilts by this pattern at the same time. Her grandmother, Ada Wheeler Widener, was one of those daughters. These quilts were made prior to her grandmother’s marriage in 1900. Her grandmother’s quilt was lost in a house fire in 1925 when her mother Viola Widener Payte was five years old. 

Granny Wheeler’s quilt went to her youngest daughter, Rosie Wheeler, at her death. Later she gave Granny’s quilt to Betty’s Grandmother. Betty’s youngest Aunt, Alice Widener received the quilt at her grandmother’s passing. Her Aunt Alice donated the quilt to Heritage House Museum where it is on display. 

The cloth from which it was made came from the carefully saved remnants of cloth used to make the clothing various family members wore. The cotton batting was cotton raised on the Wheeler Homestead. The seeds would have been picked out by hand and the cotton carefully smoothed out on tightly stretched quilt lining until it was completely covered. The top would be carefully placed over the batting and basted into place. 

A “reach” would be quilted along the edges of the quilt. The sidebars of the frame would be rolled to where another “reach” could be quilted. A “reach” is the distance once could reach to make the quilting stitches. The large quilt frames would be hung by cords from the ceiling. When the room was needed for some other activity the cords would be wrapped around the ends of the end bars until it was above head height. 

Find more information about the Heritage House Museum of Montgomery County at https://www.hhmmc.org/. 

If you would like to be part of the Montgomery County Quilt Trail, please contact coordinator Amy Monk at 870-867-2311. 

Find the locations of more quilt blocks across the state and the stories behind them at ArkansasQuiltTrails.com.

Story by:  Dewayne HollowayMontgomery County News, September 3, 2020

Source: https://www.mcnews.online/museum-quilt-block-joins-state-quilt-trail/