Saturday, my husband and I took a road trip to Waterloo, Iowa to see the Covered by Glory quilt exhibit at the Grout Museum. Five hours one way…worth it to see quilts!! We first visited the Veteran’s Museum. It was an interactive museum that traces Iowan soldiers from the Civil War to the present. You’re given a dog tag at the entrance and you are that soldier throughout the museum. At many exhibits, you can scan that tag to find out how the conflict affected you. I learned something that I still find hard to believe. Apparently only 25% of men fighting in Viet Nam were drafted. That number seems low and I may have to check that out. I know that has nothing to do with quilts, but I found it interesting. We spent about ninety minutes there and then on to the quilt exhibit.
In a previous post, I wrote about being too timid to ask about taking photos and many of you encouraged me to at least ask at the museum! So, I put my camera in my purse and when we entered the museum I asked if photography was allowed. The woman behind the counter said no one had ever asked that before so she asked someone else and I was told photography was OK without a flash. When we arrived at the quilt exhibit, there was a sign that said No Photography. Darn!! Now, my husband and I are people who always follow the rules. Everyone else is breaking them and there we are watching them get ahead and we putz along following the rules. So I pointed to the sign and my husband says “She said you could without a flash”. We were the only people in the exhibit and I made the decision to take pictures. I know that flash will harm the fabric, but no flash will do no damage. It’s just so rare to see Civil War era quilts…. I will apologize in advance for the quality. Museum light is not the best for flashless photography and it was a pretty small area and I couldn’t always get the best angle. Not my best work….
The quilt exhibit was quilts from the Civil War and tribute quilts made since then. There were not many actual Civil War quilts in the exhibit…there are very few in existence. Those that were exhibited were not in pristine condition but I can imagine the stories that they could tell! There were two Rose of Sharon quilts hung side by side that were interesting. One was the original made in 1866 and the other was a modern version. The modern version was made from patterns that were traced from the original. The maker made a few changes but it was interesting to see them side by side. There were two embroidered quilts that were made by the Women’s Relief Corps right after the war. Many of the quilts were modern miniature quilts made with the reproduction fabrics. A few quilts from the Civil War Diary book and a couple of Dear Janes. (I am in awe of anyone who finishes a Dear Jane. That is quite an accomplishment!) There was an interesting story with one of the quilts about a young girl (three years old) who was very upset that her big brother was going off to war. He promised her he would come back and bring her a china doll. He didn’t come back but soon a box came in the mail with a china doll inside. Years later, she was talking with a Civil War veteran and he told her the story of a young soldier that he met. The soldier was dying and told the veteran how he had promised his little sister a china doll and after the soldier passed, the veteran bought a doll and sent it to the young girl. It certainly brought a tear to my eye. Even though the exhibit was small, it was definitely worth the trip. The exhibit is open until September.
Enjoy the slideshow!!