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Canton quilt show to display 230-year-old specimen

Posted by Dave Eisenstadter  March 13, 2013 04:34 PM

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Hailing from around the year 1786, the Martha Howard Quilt will be on display at the Rhododendron Needlers Quilt Guild show this weekend.

The guild’s biennial quilt show, called Traditions and Treasures, will take place on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Blue Hills Regional Technical High School in Canton.

The Martha Howard Quilt is antique treasure known as the oldest American-made whole-cloth quilt. It was donated to the Canton Historical Society in 1910, but was forgotten over time.

An employee discovered the quilt in a box in storage at the society headquarters in 2008 along with letters documenting its history.

Following a year-long restoration project, the quilt was studied and documented by the Massachusetts Quilt Documentation project. The quilt, which is salmon in color and has chintz-like wool, has quilting patterns typical of the New England region at the time.

This weekend marks only the second time the quilt has been publicly displayed.

Local quilters and residents, from 30 towns south and west of Boston, many of whom have produced prize-winning works, will be exhibiting 150 quilts at the show.

In addition to the individual works and the Martha Howard Quilt, there will be a small antique quilt exhibit and a boutique of items for sale. A quilt appraiser will also be present, but appointments need to be made in advance at www.rnqg.org.

Visiting that website will also provide more information on the show.

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