A quilt that was created to portray the history of Ashe County, has returned to the Museum of Ashe County History after spending several months in another part of the state.
Created in 2012, the quilt was raffled off to Frances Wooten of East Bend. But after keeping the quilt for a few months, she returned it back to the museum.
“(The family) thought it was so personal to our county that it belonged here,” Don Long, curator for the museum said.
The concept was titled “Winding through Ashe,” and involved people in the community bringing different types of cloth and telling the story behind it.
“The idea of ‘Winding through Ashe’ was to have a fundraiser for the museum, but to also find a different way of bringing together a lot of memories in Ashe County,” Ramona Renfroe, director of the museum said. “We do that already with artifacts and such, but fabric and clothing is so personal.”
Renfroe and other organizers then received donated fabric and had a background and context of the donated pieces recorded.
“It was a really nice way of gathering memories and being able to put it in a concrete format,” she said.
Alongside the quilt, which will soon be displayed in the museum, is a scrapbook that goes into full detail of what every piece of fabric means.
“What we have now is a wonderful scrapbook of bits of people’s clothing, blankets or curtains with short stories about why this was meaningful to them,” Long said.
Each page shows a piece of the fabric and alongside it is a letter from the person who submitted the piece explaining its significance.
Renfroe said there are plans to make copies of the scrapbook to sell at the museum.
Renfroe said the idea for the quilt originally came from a former worker at the museum, Linda Payne, who passed away earlier this year.
“(Payne) would put countless hours into the museum, so (the quilt) was her brainchild and her heart-child,” Renfroe said.
Renfroe said that while there will be no expansion done to the quilt or scrapbook, the museum may decide to do another one in the future.
“Gathering memories is an ongoing process for us, whether it’s through oral histories or something like this,” Renfroe said. “The personal memories are ours to collect and keep the memories in Ashe County.”