Sunday, August 7, 2011

PRESS RELEASE: Jane Stickle Trunk Show and Workshops at the Bennington Museum

From September 6 through October 16 the quilt that inspires quilters all over the world will be on its yearly display at the Bennington Museum. Brought to the museum 60 years ago, the Jane Stickle Quilt is only shown for a short time each year due to the fragility of the fabric. Quilters from all over the country plan trips to the region during that time to see the 1863 quilt that is comprised of 169 five-inch blocks, each in different patterns, containing a remarkable total of 5,602 pieces surrounded by a unique scalloped border. The craftsmanship of the quilt has been mentioned in numerous quilting books, and is the topic of Dear Jane, The Two Hundred Twenty-Five Patterns from the 1863 Jane A. Stickle Quilt, by Brenda Papadakis.

"The significance of quilts, with their vibrant colors and precise geometric patterns, goes beyond the comforting, everyday use they received by their original owners. Today, within the context of museums, these early textiles can be re-envisioned as works of art on par with any abstract painting of the twentieth century. The Stickle Quilt, with its dizzying array of printed cloth patterns and individual block designs, surely embodies this idea of quilts as art,” states Jamie Franklin, curator of the Bennington Museum.

Jane Stickle was born Jane Blakely on April 8, 1817 in Shaftsbury, Vermont. Married to Walter Stickle sometime before 1850, they did not have a family of their own. They did however take responsibility for at least three other children. In an 1860’s census, Jane Stickle was listed as a 43 year-old farmer living alone. She eventually reunited with her husband, but during that time alone she lovingly created what is now known as the Jane Stickle Quilt. As a reminder of the turbulent times the country was going through, she carefully embroidered “In War Time 1863” into the quilt.

There will be several presentations and workshops at the museum related to the exhibit of the quilt. For more information, visit

The Jane Stickle Quilt can be viewed with regular museum admission. The Bennington Museum is located at 75 Main Street (Route 9), Bennington in The Shires of Vermont and is just a short ride from Manchester, Williamstown, and eastern New York. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the museum is closed on Wednesday except during September and October when it is open every day of the week. Visit the museum at or call 802-447-1571 for more information.

Image: Jane Stickle Quilt (detail), courtesy of the Bennington Museum