DADE CITY — Quilts can tell stories; the tales of the great-great grandparent who knitted the piece by candlelight, the group that crafted patches in memory of a lost friend or the baby christened on the soft squares.
Dozens of these fabric storybooks will be on display at the Pioneer Florida Museum and Village's quilt show this weekend.
Now entering its 19th year, the show highlights the art and history behind the patchwork pieces.
"Quilting was often considered a woman's art and a domestic art," said museum director Barbara Russ. "For many years, it didn't receive in the art world the same recognition as other crafts."
The museum features a permanent display of quilts from the 1800s. Like the arrowheads and the early typewriters also on view, the quilts are more than just a window into the lives of Florida's settlers, Russ said.
"They're mirrors we can see ourselves back in," she said. "I think it's important to have an appreciation for what other peoples' lives have been like in the past and how it relates to our lives."
Over the past week, shipments of newer quilts and fabric pieces have arrived at the museum for the weekend display.
"It's like Christmas," Russ said.
Vendors will sell quilting wares Saturday and Sunday, and local artists can enter their quilts for display.
The festival will also feature other early American crafters, including spinners, a weaver and basket workers.
Helen Anne Travis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 435-7312.