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Southern Quilts: Originality and Making Do and a Brown Bag Lecture by Merikay Waldvogel

A quilt exhibition and lecture will take place at the Museum of East Tennessee History on Wednesday, October 11. An exhibition, Stories in Stitches: Quilts from the East Tennessee Historical Society's Permanent Collection guest co-curator, will be featured. In addition, internationally known quilt historian Merikay Waldvogel will share her favorite Southern quilt stories, including several from the exhibit.

  merikay waldvogel
Merikay Waldvogel. Image courtesy of Museum of East Tennessee HIstory.

From histories handed down to mysteries that remain, the new feature exhibition at the Museum of East Tennessee History provides visitors the opportunity to learn the "stories in stitches" from the quilts that have been entrusted to the East Tennessee Historical Society. Stories in Stitches features more than two dozen quilts with dates ranging from c. 1820 to 2001. The exhibition is on display in the Rogers-Claussen Feature Gallery of the East Tennessee History Center through January 2, 2018.

Merikay Waldvogel was born in St. Louis, MO. She studied languages in college and taught ESL in Chicago before moving to Knoxville, in the late 1970s. Her first book, Quilts of Tennessee, resulted from the state quilt survey she and Bets Ramsey conducted in the 1980s. Her next books, Soft Covers for Hard Times and Patchwork Souvenirs of the 1933 Chicago World's Fair, focused on quiltmaking during the Great Depression. Childhood Treasures: Quilts Made By and For Children is her latest. In 2009, she was inducted into the Quilters Hall of Fame.

The program is free and the public is invited. The lecture will begin at noon at the East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville. Guests are invited to bring a “Brown Bag” lunch and enjoy the lecture. Soft drinks will be available for purchase. For more information on the lecture, exhibitions, or museum hours, call 865-215-8824 or visit the website at

Published September 29, 2017

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