January 17, 2012 |

Quilters Weekend coming up

The Senator John Heinz History Center will host the fifth annual Quilters Weekend on Jan. 21-22, showcasing the unique history of quilting in Western Pa. with a variety of quilt displays, special guest speakers, and hands-on activities.

This quilt, known as the “Mission Statement Quilt,” is on display in the History Center\'s Stars & Stripes: An American Story exhibition. On loan from the Flight 93 National Memorial, the quilt was made by Calif. native Suzi Bird in 2001 to honor those who suffered from the 9/11 attacks. An inscription on the quilt by Los Angeles Fire Department captain Stephen Ruda reads, “A Common Field One Day, A Field of Honor Forever,” which eventually became the preamble to the Flight 93 National Memorial mission statement.

Quilters Weekend will include several patriotic wartime quilt displays in honor of the History Center's Stars & Stripes: An American Story exhibition.

Visitors, from novice to skilled quilters, will experience a weekend full of activities, including:

• Stunning quilts displayed by several Western Pa.-based guilds;

• Special demonstrations of quilting techniques from local experts;

• A book exchange where visitors can bring their gently used quilting books and trade with quilting enthusiasts throughout the region;

• Opportunities to try a variety of quilting methods and styles; and

• Areas for children to create take-home crafts.

Sue Reich, one of the nation's foremost collectors of wartime quilts, will bring quilts from her collection and speak to attendees at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21.

Additionally, visitors can learn how to donate quilts to members of the military through the Quilts of Valor program.

Noted U.S. flag expert and Pittsburgh native, Dr. Peter Keim, will provide an exclusive tour of the Stars & Stripes exhibit on a first come, first serve basis on Sat., Jan. 21. The exhibit includes many historic flags from Keim's personal collection, as well as a special 9/11 quilt made for the Flight 93 National Memorial.

The Western Pennsylvania Quilt Documentation Project will also be at the History Center throughout the weekend to catalogue and appraise quilts brought in by visitors. To make an appointment to have your quilt documented, please contact Brenda Applegate, executive director of the Beaver County Historical Research & Landmarks Foundation, at bchrlf@bchrlf.org or 724-775-1848.

Quilter's Weekend is free with History Center admission. The Senator John Heinz History Center is at 1212 Smallman Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.

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