Southwest Virginia's Finest Old Quilts and Coverlets Take Center Stage at Ferrum College's
Blue Ridge Institute & Museum.
The Great Western Virginia Cover-Up: Historic Quilts & Bedcovers showcases the region’s
bedcover-making traditions from the 1700s to 1950.
Ferrum, Va. (June 12, 2012) – Over 50 of Southwest Virginia’s finest old quilts and coverlets take center stage
in a new exhibition at Ferrum College’s Blue Ridge Institute & Museum. The Great Western Virginia Cover-Up: Historic Quilts & Bedcovers showcases the region’s bedcover-making traditions from the 1700s to 1950. The exhibition
runs now through Spring 2013 in the Institute’s DuPont Gallery on the Ferrum College
campus. Admission is free.
Western Virginia’s vintage bedcovers tell a 150-year saga of rural women, inventors,
soldiers, publishers, and even hog feed salesmen. The Great Western Virginia Cover-Up
includes premier examples of historic “whitework” spreads, album quilts, Virginia
Rose quilts, crazy quilts, and feed sack quilts. Also on display is one of five known
Virginia bed rugs, dated 1833.
“Southwest Virginians began making homespun material in the eighteenth century and
by 1800 they could buy an amazing variety of fabrics in backcountry stores,” explained
Institute Executive Director Roddy Moore. “They turned these resources into countless
quilts, coverlets, blankets, and spreads—most of which were eventually worn out and
“These beautiful quilts and coverlets are the survivors,” said the exhibition’s guest
curator, Natalie Norris. “They are here today because the people who made and owned
them saw these pieces as special—and rightly so.”
Featuring 32 quilts and 20 coverlets and blankets, The Great Western Virginia Cover-Up draws from the collections of the Blue Ridge Institute & Museum as well as regional
museums, historical societies, and private collectors. Most of the pieces have never
before been exhibited. In conjunction with The Great Western Virginia Cover-Up the Blue Ridge Institute & Museum plans to hold a series of regional quilt documentation
days over the next year.
The Blue Ridge Institute & Museum is open Mondays through Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. to
4:30 p.m., year-round; and Sundays, 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., mid-May through mid-August.
For more information, call (540) 365-4412 or visit www.blueridgeinstitute.org.
# # #