A quilt is more than something to keep you warm at night. It’s part history, part art, part personal memoir – all lovingly crafted by hand.
Sacramento State will host two free quilt exhibits this fall, both from the collection of Carol Gebel, the University’s former library services specialist.
“Artistry of the Traditional Quilt” runs Sept. 7-Oct. 20 in the Library Gallery Annex. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. “Piecing the Past Together: Nineteenth Century Quilts” runs Sept. 7-Dec. 20 in the Library’s Special Collections and University Archives. Exhibit hours are 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. A reception will be held 5-8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, in the Library Gallery Annex.
Pieces in the Library Gallery Annex demonstrate the artistic aspect of quilts, says Gebel, while those in the Special Collections and Archives were selected to illustrate the evolving history of the quilt.
Gebel began studying and collecting quilts after receiving one made by her great-grandmother. Her collection includes pieces from Pennsylvania, Ohio and Missouri as well as many other states.
“Quilts are powerful artifacts,” she says.
One of the pieces in the exhibit is a Four Eagles quilt, an appliqué design from the nation’s centennial. Another features a colorful leaf medallion design.
Gebel notes that quilts offer something blankets can’t provide. Quilts are made for special occasions such as weddings and births. They have been made to support soldiers and in support of causes from abolition to world peace.
“Women have reported wrapping themselves in a quilt made for a deceased loved one and feeling the maker’s and the loved one’s arms around them and experiencing the warmth of their love and caring,” says Gebel. “Not many objects can elicit such emotion or provide the degree of comfort a quilt can.”
For more information on the displays, call Gebel at (916) 630-9240. For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.
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by Christian Ward