Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lone Star Quilts

I will be doing a presentation on Star Quilts at the Museum of the Rockies next Friday evening in conjunction with the Quilts on the Lawn show in Bozeman, MT. I began my research with the basic 8 pointed star and ended up captivated with the Lone Stars, especially those made by the Native Americans.

The popularity of the Lone Star quilt pattern and statehood for Texas happened around the same time. (The Lone Star pattern was first seen around 1830, Texas joined the Union in 1845.) Early Lone Stars featured other smaller stars or Broderie Perse in the blank squares.

The star and the circle have long been important images for many Native American tribes. Once trade beads were introduced to the fur trade in the early 17th century, classic stars were beaded on moccasins and bags. By the late 1880s the buffalo herds, so important to the Plains Indians, were gone. The Sioux and Assiniboine tribes along with others adopted the Lone Star quilt as a replacement for traditional buffalo robes. Now these quilts are used not only as tipi doors but also to wrap the dead, express joy at a birth, honor friends and loved ones, as altar cloths in churches, hangings for graduation ceremonies and a focal point of a 'giveaway'.

I hope you can attend the presentation on Friday evening. I will have numerous slides of Star quilts and a very special story about a Native American Giveaway featuring quilts!

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