For twenty-seven years, I’ve lived seven miles from the Gilbert (AZ) Historical Museum, and never visited it. That changed last month when a friend invited me to accompany her to a quilt show there.
The museum documents the story of the farming community, which sprang up in the early 1900s when the Arizona Eastern Railway established a rail line between Florence and Phoenix. But it also preserves the memory of our country as experienced by our grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great grandparents.
This is an R.E.O. Speed Wagon. I know, right?! It was named after Ransom E. Olds, the founder of Oldsmobile.
Full of charming artifacts, the museum catapulted me into memories of my extended family, particularly my aunt’s in-laws, who farmed in New Jersey. I will intersperse pictures of items from the permanent collection amongst the photos of the quilt show.
Model T Ford
You can click on the smaller images to enlarge and see the captions.
Detail from bottom center of larger quilt.
Raffle quilt. I bought a couple of chances for it. I hope I win!
Silent auction items, including antique quilt blocks.
Some of the items for sale in the gift shop. I bought a hand-made pincushion made from a ceramic cornucopia.
On Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings, a group of quilters gathers at the museum to work.
Fabrics lying on a bed, waiting to be incorporated into another quilt.
Old Singer treadle sewing machine.
Who wouldn’t want a laundry room equipped with these lovely washing machines, fully loaded with mechanical wringers?
Feather hat to die for.
I think this contraption has something to do with moving bales of hay.
Detail of larger quilt.
Can’t bear to give away those cute little baby dresses?
A mother made a quilt for her son with images of things important to her husband as a boy.
A grinding wheel, and behind it, a devise used to separate cream from milk.
And these are typewriters, my dear, for writing term papers and business letters and book manuscripts before there were computers.
And these are telephones. Before you could put them in your pocket.
Seeing the crazy quilt below triggered a memory from my childhood. When I was a little girl, an elderly friend of my parents gave them an old crazy quilt like this, heavily embroidered silk bordered and backed with burgundy velvet. My mother gave it to me to use as a bedspread on my bed, until it deteriorated into shreds. Knowing what I know now, I wish I’d had the option of saving it. I suspect it was already pretty worn out when we got it.
Beautiful hand-embroidered and -trimmed linens.
World War I artifacts from the Military exhibit:
Let us never forget our men and women in uniform who have perished in service to our country.
West Point cadet
The quilt show runs through May 30, 2016. It was so worth my $4 (senior discount) to see it. And the museum is absolutely charming. I’ll be back again. And the quilt show is an annual event! See you next year, maybe.