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Make a quick quilt magnet at Cultural Heritage Center Aug. 18

Visitors for Family Fun Saturday at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre on Aug. 18 can create their own colorful quilt magnets, using a nine-patch template and stickers.

The event runs from 10-11:30 a.m. CDT, and all supplies are provided. Children should be accompanied by an adult.

“Quilting is a popular pastime for many people here in South Dakota,” said Jay Smith, museum director. “Colorful quilts are found in many homes today. Their warm fabrics, bright colors and intricate patterns are used for bed coverings and beautiful art. This activity lets visitors of all ages design their own quilt pattern for a refrigerator magnet—artistic and useful at the same time.”

Some quilt designs are easily recognized. The Nine Patch is one of the simplest and quickest quilt blocks to create. Nine fabric squares are sewn three across and three down to make a larger square. Log Cabin quilts begin with a center square. The name “Log Cabin” comes from the narrow strips of fabric, or logs arranged around the center square. Each fabric strip or log was added to the pattern in much the same way logs were stacked to build a cabin. Stars are also a common quilt motif. There are hundreds of star patterns. Some quilts have just one large radiating star while other patterns use dozens of smaller stars.

The word quilt comes from the Latin “culcita,” meaning a stuffed sack. The French word “cuilte” translated into the English “quilt.” Quilting, piecing and applique have been used for clothing and furnishings for centuries. The earliest known quilted garment dates from about 3400 B.C. The earliest surviving bed quilt comes from 14th-century Sicily and is made of linen padded with wool.

When settlers arrived in the New World, they brought their cultural heritage from Europe, including the art of quilting. In the 19th century, settlers who began moving west brought quilting with them. Quilts became an important asset to settlers on the plains. Not only could they be used on beds, they were useful as covers for doors and windows and as floor mats for the children to play on.

The museum in the Cultural Heritage Center is open from 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 1-4:30 p.m. on Sundays and most holidays. Call 605-773-3458 for more information about exhibits, special events and upcoming activities.

About the South Dakota State Historical Society
The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Education. The State Historical Society, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is headquartered at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The center houses the society’s world-class museum, the archives, and the historic preservation, publishing and administrative/development offices. Call 605-773-3458 or visit www.history.sd.gov for more information. The society also has an archaeology office in Rapid City; call 605-394-1936 for more information.