McCook House quilt exhibit kicks off

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Harrison News-Herald Photo/SHAWN DIGITY: Cot quilts were smaller than typical quilt models. They had more in common with just the quilt tops. Tops are usually the colorful or designed side everyone sees, but they're stitched on a back and filled with batting to make a regular quilt.

The McCook House in Carrolton is opening its door for a special, seasonal quilt exhibit for the rest of August and September. Curator Kathy Cook has already laid out several dozen quilts around the McCook House in anticipation of the display, scheduled to go live on Aug. 6 officially. Each room in the house currently has at least one quilt. And each quilt has at least one story to tell. The quilts on display will be representing numerous eras, but many of them have historical significance around the Civil War. 

While taking a quick glance at the quilt displays, Horn pointed out one quilt on the first floor that was worn and folded up. While it had some wear and tear from actual usage, Horn noted that people never folded their quilts the same way. It prevented lines from breaking. Some of the more recent quilts had incorporated a trend of using photographs and working them onto fabric. The trend was used for a McCook family quilt showing the genealogy of the family. One was done for Union and Confederate soldiers, too. 

Some of the Civil War-era quilts had tiny fabric bundles neatly packaged onto their tops; the bundles could be folded, unfolded, and tied up to reveal the quilt users’ stories. Some more miniature quilts on display were suited for cots; they were given to service members during the Civil War. Quilt clubs had also lent some of their works to the exhibit. One club, in particular, would meet up to create seven quilts each year: six for each member and a seventh to raise donations to fight against cancer. 

It wasn’t rare to see the quilts show off colorful and bombastic patterns, either. More so, it was par for the course to have quilts with vivacious or festive designs. Some had paisley, some had appliqued flowers, others had patchwork, and others just turned into crazy quilts with rainbows of different colors stitched together. And with each unique combination, a unique story was tucked away among the hours and labor it took to bring the quilts to life. 

The tour will only run at $3 for adults and $2 for children. The McCook House’s Quilt Show will be part of the regular tour if patrons so choose. But standard tours of the House will still be offered — people will still see the quilts either way. The exhibit will still be open for regular hours for everyone interested, and the quilts will be shown until the second weekend of October.

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