A Stitch in Time: What a fitting title for the Brown County History Center’s spring exhibit all about sewing!
An antique Singer foot-powered sewing machine, donated by Penny and Ron Schuster, is featured.
Display cases are filled with old and unusual sewing items.
The Pioneer Women Club searched their closets for every type of stitched piece and tools to make them.
There is a cupboard of children’s sewing cards, old patterns and sewing notions.
Colorful buttons are interspersed in the cases.
Fashionable picture buttons from the 1800s are loaned from the extensive collection of Jan Swigert.
Costumes based on post-Civil War fashion and handmade during the mid-1950s were loaned by Aileen Wineinger.
They were worn during formal Daughters of the American Revolution events.
Supplies from early in the 1900s and before seem odd to us, but were very useful at the time.
There are two examples of a “housewife,” which was a compact portable sewing kit.
One was issued to a soldier during both world wars so he could sew on a lost button or repair a torn uniform.
Look for pin cushions, needle cases and sewing baskets.
A “bodkin” was a tool with a slit through which a ribbon or elastic was threaded to trim a dress or pull through a waistband. A small box holds a unique pre-Colombian needle and a hook, both carved of bone.
Various machines from the 1800s are exhibited, including a child’s Singer sewing machine with a crank handle.
A similar-sized machine was created to make chain stitch and another was for “pinking” material, predating pinking shears we use today.
Framed wall hangings and bed covers are examples of every kind of stitching. There are needlepoint, crewel and samplers.
A sampler book was made by students to demonstrate their understanding and skill of each type of stitching, so later they could be proficient in mending, making tablecloths, pillowcases and clothing.
One needs to study the details of the crazy quilts, which show a seamstress’ love for material, color, texture and artistic stitching skills.
The Pioneer Women have completed two original quilts. One has a maple leaf motif and is available for purchase during the 2016 National Maple Syrup Festival. The asking price is $500.
The second depicts colorful spools and will go to a lucky winner of the raffle drawing conducted during the September Quilt Show at the History Center. Raffle tickets are available from any member.
Visit the Brown County History Center to share your stories and memories: “What in the world is that?” “My grandmother had one of those,” etc.
— Brown County History Center
The Brown County History Center’s spring exhibit, “A Stitch in Time,” opened Jan. 26.
Hours, until spring, are 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.