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An American Perspective on Quilts and Patchwork at the Manx Museum 25 January 2008

Cheryl Cheek's Flying over KansasAn American perspective will be brought to Manx National Heritage’s temporary exhibition Manx Quilts and Patchwork: Stitching Through the Years during February and March with a lecture and workshop by the American quilter, Cheryl Cheek, at the Manx Museum.

Cheryl Cheek will be giving an illustrated talk at the Manx Museum on Saturday 9th February at 2pm entitled Underground Railroad quilts of the American Civil War. The talk will be an account of the quilts produced during the American Civil War period and their connections to the ‘Underground Railroad’, whereby slaves from the southern states were smuggled to freedom in the north via a series of safe houses. Quilts were also used to comfort soldiers away from home and to express patriotism for both sides of the conflict during the American Civil War.

Cheryl Cheek said:

“I will discuss whether or not the Underground Quilt Code is true or simply urban legend. I also want to talk about the reconciliation quilt which features a block depicting the daughter of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy. The quilt was made by Lucinda Ward Honstain in 1867 and depicts common sights and scenes of 19th century New York City, as well as Lucinda’s own version of some events, including the release of Jefferson Davis from prison in Fort Monroe and his reconciliation with one of his two daughters, who had stayed in the North during the war.”

On Saturday 8th March, Cheryl Cheek will also be running a workshop entitled Making A Memory Quilt Wall Hanging, which will be an opportunity for the whole family to design and make their own memory quilt wall hanging using fabric, pictures and some small mementoes. The workshop is from 10.15am to 4.45pm and places can be booked by contacting Manx National Heritage.

Cheryl Cheek's Amish DiamondsCheryl Cheek is an American academic who began researching quilting to help keep quilters’ expertise and memories alive, collecting the pictures of the quilts and their stories before they were lost forever. She has studied women's quilt making in Amish, Appalachian, and Mormon communities in America, which will be the focus of another lecture later on in March, and she is currently studying quilt making on the Isle of Man, courtesy of a Rotary International Grant for University Teachers.

To accompany these special events there will also be two guided tours of MNH’s latest temporary exhibition Manx Quilts and Patchwork: Stitching through the Years by Yvonne Cresswell, Curator of Social History, at 11am on Saturday 9th February and Friday 7th March. Places can be reserved by contacting Manx National Heritage.

Admission to the lecture, gallery tours and workshop is free of charge and open to all; further information and places can be booked by contacting Manx National Heritage on 648000.

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