By Anne Ruppert, Sam Rayburn House Museum
The Sam Rayburn House Museum introduced its new exhibit, “Threaded Through Time: The Sam Rayburn Family Quilts,” on May 8. The exhibit opening was held in conjunction with Bonham’s first quilt hop, which featured quilt exhibits and other quilt-related materials in several Bonham locations, including the Bonham Visitor Center, Creative Arts Center, Fannin County Historical Commission, and Fannin County Museum.
The “Threaded Through Time” exhibit at the Sam Rayburn House Museum featured 12 historic quilts from the museum’s collection. With the assistance of Lynn Deal, site manager of the nearby Sam Bell Maxey State Historic Site, the staff examined each quilt to identify its approximate age, fabric composition, and pattern name.
Large color photos of each quilt hung in the exhibit accompanied by fact sheets and a quilting definition of terms. An exhibit case held small artifacts from the house museum including hand-quilted potholders, thread, a pincushion, and a flour sack.
While photos filled the visitor center exhibit, the actual quilts were displayed within the house museum. Two quilts were laid upon six beds within the home, and museum staff provided quilt-themed tours to visitors. The staff members, outfitted with cotton gloves, spoke about the two quilts on each bed within the house. Museum staff carefully turned the top quilt to reveal the second one beneath. This gave visitors the opportunity to view the quilts up close as they were most likely used by the Rayburn family.
The Sam Rayburn House Museum exhibit opening also included music by the Fannin County Civic Band and hands-on quilting activities for children. During the quilt hop, Lynn Deal and Robin Gilliam, site manager of the Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site in Denison, gave presentations on quilts and quilting history. Free buses provided transportation to visitors between each of the five sites that hosted the quilt hop. Visitors who attended the quilt hop and visited each of the five participating sites qualified for prize drawings.
** The Sam Rayburn House Museum is located two miles west of Bonham on West State Highway 56 in the Texas Lakes Trail Region.