I had an unexpected fiber adventure this weekend!
A friend and I talked about doing a “pandemic safe” trip up to the Arbor Lodge State Park for months and months. Our schedules (or my anxiety) would get in the way, and we would reschedule. Last weekend, though, we finally loaded up the car and made it to Nebraska City!
On the state park property is this beautiful, historic Morton Mansion, of the Morton Salt fame. The pioneer who built the mansion, J. S. Morton, also invented Arbor Day (also fought to make Nebraska a slave state, but fortunately that never happened and the museum did well at making a point that that was never okay).
We knew we would take the tour. What we didn’t know is the museum was hosting an informal exhibition from the local needlework guild! A pleasant surprise is an understatement.
The Nebraska City-based group is called The Heritage Needlework Guild. They’re “devoted to promoting and preserving the diverse needlework techniques available from the past, present, and future.” Many of the quilts were on loan from their members, but a few of them were contemporary to mansion!
These crazy quilts were just those, made by young women in the late 1800s using up their scraps of fine fabric while showing off their stitching skills (look at that crocheted border!). Funny enough, it seems this art form made it’s debut at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, which J.S. Morton and family attended.
If you’re able to make your way to Nebraska City and have some time to spare, I’d highly recommend a stop to take the tour. I hope there are still quilts on display, but even if they’re not, the mansion is beautiful and fascinating unto itself.