There’s a Big Story behind these little squares…
The upcoming exhibit will also feature two additional quilts created in the 19th century. The first is a fully intact signature quilt made by members of the Scusset Methodist Meeting Church, circa 1890. The congregation exists today as the Swift Memorial Church and worships just across the street from where the original church building once stood. This quilt consists of a variety of floral, check, and striped fabrics, all fashioned in the same crossed pattern, with a bright, red fabric border. At the center of each square is a white diamond design featuring four signatures, and in total, there are 228 names on the piece. “It’s basically a who’s who of Sagamore and Bournedale at the turn of the century,” Sicchio says.
The other quilt is what’s known, Sicchio says, as a “crazy quilt.” Common in the late 1800s, this style gets its name from the way in which scraps of fabric of all type, color, size, and texture, are sewn together. Credited to a local woman, Lydia Crowell, the quilt may date back as far as 1870 and features colorful stitching and a rich velvet trim. Crowell, who worked with her husband as a shopkeeper at a local general store, is also the mother of one of the Cape’s most adventurous women of her time, Hannah Rebecca Burgess. Burgess spent four years at sea with her husband, Captain William Howes Burgess, and chronicled her adventures in a series of journals.
Together, the quilts in the exhibit stitch together a small glimpse into the lives of Cape Cod residents in the mid-to-late 19th century. “There is a lot of history,” Sicchio says, “in these little scraps of fabric.”
The Bourne Historical Center, at 30 Keene Street in Bourne, is open Mondays and Tuesdays, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. For more information, call 508-759-8167 or visit capecodlife.com/readersinfo.
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