Quilt ‘turning’ this weekend

Published 6:30 pm Thursday, March 7, 2013

Turning back the bed will be a new and educational experience for those who attend the Quilt Turning at he Pioneer Museum of Alabama on Saturday.

The Quilt Turning program will be held in conjunction with the “Pieces of History Quilt Show” that is ongoing at the museum through March 31. The Quilt Turning will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. with programs every 30 minutes.

Kari Barley, museum director, said the attendance was good last Saturday for the program presented by the quilters from Gee’s Bend and she expects good participation in Saturday’s program.

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“Quilt Turnings or Bed Turnings are something new that we have added to our quilt show and we think everyone will really enjoy the programs and learn a lot about quilts and their history.”

The Quilt Turning will be presented by Sherry Burkhalter, who owns Quilted Creations in Headland.

“For a quilt turning or a bed turning, you have a bed set up with a stack of quilts,” Burkhalter said. “As you talk about each quilt, you roll it back and fold it over – turn it.”

With each “turn” of the bed, there will be a story.

“Not a lecture, though,” Burkhalter said. “I’ll tell interesting stories about the quilts, some that date back to the 1850s. And, there are fun things about these quilts. One is a peek-a-boo quilt that has an old quilt inside. There are so many interesting things to learn and know about quilts – the patterns, the history, the materials.”

Between the programs, Burkhalter will identify quilts that are brought in by program participants.

“If those who attend the quilt turning have quilts that they don’t know the history of or the age, I will do the identification,” Burkhalter said.

“And, I will tell them if their quilts have value. I do appraisals but will not do appraisals at the show. But, if a quilt has value, I will let the owner know.”

Burkhalter said the value of a quilt is determined by its age, condition, uniqueness and history.

“A quilt may be ratty and worn but have historical significance that would give it value,” she said. “But otherwise, it would probably be valuable for only sentimental reasons.

Burkhalter said many times tattered and worn quilts can be salvaged for use.

“The worn parts of the quilt can be cut away and the beauty of the quilt can be preserved as a lap quilt,” she said.

“Every quilt has value even if it’s only as memorabilia.”

Burkhalter has owned her business since 1985 and has been teaching quilting since the early 1990s. She is a certified quilt appraiser.

The Quilt Turning will be from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $6 for adults and $5 for seniors and includes admission to the museum.