Quilt Show Project Manager and Historic Quilt Expert Lynette Lundy-Beck notes that the War of 1812 quilt show on March 17 and 18 will weave living history exhibits into a two-day showcase that has attracted quilters from 18 states and Canada. The Great Lakes Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway War of 1812 Bicentennial Quilt Show is Saturday and Sunday at three locations in the village. It will feature an exhibit of 1812 “period-true” quilts especially made for the exhibit.
The former Union Hotel, a three-story limestone structure built in 1817-18 and now the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Discovery Center; the Sackett Mansion, built in 1801; and the Samuel F. Hooker House Arts Center, circa 1808, will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day with displays of “cot-to-coffin-sized” quilts. Many of the quilts have been dedicated to ancestors who fought in the War of 1812.
Show guidelines for quilt size, fabrics and embellishments were developed by Seaway Trail Inc. in concert with American quilt historian Barbara Brackman of Lawrence, Kan. Patterns that were popular around 1812 featured simple stars and basic nine-patch and four-patch variations.
Quilters have been invited to attend in period dress. Living history re-enactor Ted Schofield of Chaumont will exhibit his early 19th-century reproduction sewing implements. Other history interpreters lending atmosphere in the exhibit buildings and on village streets will include “President James Madison”; members of Forsyth’s Rifles with the Fort La Presentation Association of Ogdensburg; MacKay’s Militia from Genesee Country Village and Museum, Mumford, and members of the Sackets Harbor Battlefield Alliance.
The show is unique in that it is foremost a storytelling quilt exhibit. The story of each quilt will be displayed with notations on how quilters selected patterns and colors and information about their research into family and local history.
The show also will feature quilting demonstrations and vendors. A special memorial exhibit of quilts will pay tribute to the late Seaway trail president and CEO Teresa Mitchell, who developed the concept for the trail and for quilting as a cultural heritage travel theme along the byway.
The nonprofit Seaway Trail hosts a yearly quilt show with a different theme as a cultural heritage travel opportunity along part of the 518 miles of the trail, which borders the Great Lakes shoreline in New York and Pennsylvania. The quilting tradition is a popular cultural and arts heritage travel theme for the trail, which has clusters of Mennonite and Amish quilters, particularly in the Chautauqua and St. Lawrence county regions of the byway.