Mourning & Meaning Through Cloth


Looking for a fall quilting road trip? Consider heading to Virginia Quilt Museum located in Harrisonburg, VA for their second annual Seminar, “Mourning and Meaning Through Cloth” October 21 – 22, 2016.


Over the course of two days, speakers will explore the customs and symbols of the Victorian South through needlework, fashion and jewelry, cemetery tours, and (friendly) ghosts in the museum’s antebellum house. Attendees can explore the related quilt exhibit –“Midnight in the Garden of Quilts” – curated by Polly Mello, concurrently hosted at the museum.


IMG_5715 from coffin quilt KY
From Coffin Quilt of Kentucky


In Memorium:  Mourning in America sets the tone when Dr. Craig Friend, North Carolina State University professor and co-editor of Death and the American South, speaks on Friday.  Jewelry for Mourning is the topic for vintage jewelry designer Hugo Kohl.  Opening Saturday’s agenda, Crape and Bombazine: Mourning Fashions for Women will be discussed by Dr. Karen Bohleke, Director of Fashion Archives and Museum of Shippensburg University, Pennsylvania.  Memorial Pictures and Samplers follows, presented by Sheryl DeJong, volunteer representative in the Textile Division of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Quilts That Go Bump in the Night, Polly Mello’s keynote presentation, promises to be both serious and humorous.  She will speak about her favorite collection, which includes the infamous and the macabre.  An Artists’ Reception featuring Polly Mello will be the culminating event on Saturday afternoon.


WeepingSampler cropped
Weeping Sampler


Seminar tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door, but seating is limited. For a complete schedule and details, or to purchase tickets for this event, please visit the museum’s website at


The Virginia Quilt Museum was founded in 1995 and exists to celebrate and nurture quilting in Virginia.  The Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization funded solely through private donations, memberships, and revenue from admissions and museum shop sales. The Virginia Quilt Museum receives no federal or state funding.


Seminar information and images submitted by Rosalyn Wetzel,  

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