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Entries sought for quilt exhibit

When Nancy Conklin heard the Pioneer Museum of Alabama was inviting local residents to share their quilts and the stories that go with them in the annual Pieces of History Quilt Exhibit, she gathered up a bundle and took them to register.

When she realized there was no limit the quilts that she could enter in the show, she went back and brought some more.

And, that’s not all. She has more at home.

“I’ve been collecting quilts since 1970,” she said. “I’m not a quilter. I’m a quilt collector. Quilts are fascinating to me. They are art and they are storybooks. I was so excited to find a material pattern in a book dates back to between 1880 and 1910. You can learn a lot from the materials used and from the patterns. Quilts are amazing, especially the antique ones.”

The Pieces of History Quilt Exhibit, which will be held Feb. 14, is not limited to antique quilts.

“We want quilts of all kinds and of all ages,” said Jerry Peak, museum director. “The quilts entered can be as old or as new as you want. Our exhibit will showcase literally hundreds of quilts dating from the late 1700s through 2008. The quilts will create a most comprehensive exhibit.”

Peak said each quilt offers a unique “story card” with a history of the quilt providing a glimpse into the past.

“We are encouraging those who enter quilts to create a story card that tells as much about the quilt as possible,” he said. “It’s interesting to know the name of the quilter, the age of the quilt, the name of the pattern and any story behind the quilt. Of course, there will be quilts where none of the information is known but that will not diminish the beauty of the quilt or the interest in it.”

Quilts may be brought to the museum during regular hours, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

“Each quilt that is brought in is registered, numbered and photographed so there should be no concern about entering a quilt in the exhibit,” Peak said. “They will be handled with great care.”

The deadline to enter a quilt in the Pieces of History Quilt Exhibit is Feb. 11. The exhibit will open on Valentines Day and run through March 31.