Alberta Quilt Project: MAG Quilt Documentation

Oct 25th, 2018

10:00 am - 4:30 pm

Do you have an interest in Heritage Quilts?

Drop in anytime from 10 am - 4:30 pm on October 25th to see the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery (MAG)'s quilt collection be documented by Lucie Heins, Assistant Curator at the Royal Alberta Museum (RAM) in our permanent history exhibition, Remarkable Red Deer: Stories from the Heart of the Parkland

Lucie will look at the techniques and materials used to make the quilts, and also try to collect as much history about the quilt and quiltmaker as possible. 

Related Programming

October 25, 2018 - Discovering Alberta's History One Quilt at a Time Presentation - 7-8:30 pm
Alice Rendell’s letters share her long arduous journey to the Barr Colony, Lloydminster.  Minerva McLeod shares her journey as a six-year-old to the Peace Country in 1910. Through storytelling, “Discovering Alberta’s History One Quilt at a Time” provides a glimpse into the settlement of Alberta’s communities. Lucie Heins, Assistant Curator of the Western Canadian History Program at the Royal Alberta Museum has been researching the history of Alberta quilts and quiltmakers since 2013. With more than 1500 Alberta quilts documented and access to unpublished memoirs/diaries, many Alberta stories have emerged while documenting heritage quilts.

Free to attend; presentation 7-8 pm, followed by a short discussion period.

October 26, 2018 - Documentation of the Public's Quilts - 10 am - 4:30 pm
Do you own your own Heritage Quilt? The Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery (MAG) is hosting a public Quilt Documentation Day on Friday, October 26th, 2018 from 10 am to 4:30 pm. Lucie Heins, Assistant Curator at the Royal Alberta Museum (RAM), will be conducting the event. This is an opportunity to have your family quilt(s) documented and photographed in order to preserve its history and contribution to Alberta’s quilting history. Lucie will look at the techniques and materials used to make the quilt, and also try to collect as much history about the quilt and quiltmaker as possible. If you own a heritage or family quilt made in Alberta, or as part of the immigrant story to Alberta, it may be a good candidate. Only pre-1970 quilts will be considered at this time, unless a heritage quilt top was finished after 1970.

In order to have your quilt documented by Lucie, you will be required to make an appointment in advance. Appointments are free of charge, but limited spaces for appointments are available. To make an appointment, please contact the MAG's Front Desk at 403.309.8405. Appointments will take approximately 30 minutes per quilt.

If you would like more information about these events, please contact Kim Verrier, Exhibitions Coordinator at the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery, at 403.309.8440 or by email, kim.verrier@reddeer.ca. For more information about the Alberta Quilt Project, contact Lucie Heins at 780.453.9176 or by email, at lucie.heins@gov.ab.ca

History of the Alberta Quilt Project

The Western Canadian History Program at the Royal Alberta Museum (RAM) has been working on an Alberta Craft Research Initiative to document the material culture of craft production within the Alberta context. The Alberta Quilt Project, a component of this research initiative, is presently looking at heritage quilts made in Alberta or brought by immigrants to Alberta.

The objective of the Alberta Quilt Project is to examine Alberta quilts and in the process capture the Alberta quilting story. Most history books written about quilts in Canada are about quilts in eastern Canada. We want to change that. The information captured through the quilt documentation events and interviews will help us tell that history.

Phase I of the Alberta Quilt Project, documenting 21st century Alberta quilters, was completed during the first two and a half years of the project. To truly capture Alberta quilters today, it was necessary that as many quilters as possible participate in a survey. More than 600 quilters have completed a very detailed survey questionnaire. The results show that quilting trends today differ from quilting trends 100 years ago. There is also great diversity in the types of quilts made today, from traditional to contemporary art pieces. The results of the project were shared with Alberta quilters in almost 30 different communities throughout Alberta from as far south as Etzikom and Lethbridge and as far north as Grand Prairie and Peace River.

Phase II, a five year project, is in its final year of documenting and photographing quilts found in regional museums as well as in private collections throughout Alberta. This documentation captures the different kind of quilts made during different decades, the materials and the patterns used to create them. All of the information retrieved will reside at the Royal Alberta Museum.

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