The History Center in Tompkins County announces their next major exhibit ‘Knot Sew Fast: Patchwork of Tompkins County’, to open on February 3, 2023 at their Exhibit Hall on the Ithaca Commons. Knot Sew Fast pulls from the extensive textile and fabric arts collections held by The History Center to lay out the stories these functional artworks tell about Tompkins County history.
Piecing together the story of quilts encourages us to consider shifts in technology, industry, transportation, and materials over generations of local life. As we unravel (figuratively) each quilt we consider the hands that did the work, and the stories they captured in every knot and stitch. In addition to historic quilts displayed from four of the nine townships of Tompkins, there will be interactive patternmaking stations in the Exhibit Hall; an invitation for our modern audience to try their hand at replicating patterns from ancestral woven Haudenosaunee belts to modern-day art quilts.
Quilts are a unique measure to explore history as the practice of quilting was a skill developed and practiced equally by historic Ithacan city-dwellers, as well as our rural township communities of Trumansburg, Groton, Dryden, Lansing, Caroline, Newfield, and Danby. The merging of this functional skill, and the hundreds of hours and handwork displayed in each quilt shares narratives about community, history, home, and skilled labor.
Knot Sew Fast will encourage a slower recognition of the diversity of textiles and patterns, as well as the hands and minds that created them. The exhibit will be on display from February 3rd 2023 through mid-August 2023. Follow @TompkinsHistory and http:// thehistorycenter.net/knot-sew-fast for updates.
About The History Center: The History Center in Tompkins County is a generation-to-generation education and research center focused on engaging the public with the history of Tompkins County (located in the ancestral and contemporary lands of the Gayogo̱hó:nǫ’ Nation) and the Finger Lakes region. The History Center helps people use the tools of history to understand the past, gain perspective on the present, and play an informed role in shaping the future. The History Center is located within the Tompkins Center for History & Culture. Learn more at thehistorycenter.net and follow @TompkinsHistory on any platform.