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‘Star Spangled Quilts’ on display at museum

By Shari Pierce
Special to The PREVIEW

Photo courtesy San Juan Historical Society This state flower quilt is one of several patriotic quilts on exhibit as part of the “Star Spangled Quilts” display at the San Juan Historical Society Museum. The museum is located at 96 Pagosa St. on the east side of downtown Pagosa Springs. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through mid-September.

Photo courtesy San Juan Historical Society
This state flower quilt is one of several patriotic quilts on exhibit as part of the “Star Spangled Quilts” display at the San Juan Historical Society Museum. The museum is located at 96 Pagosa St. on the east side of downtown Pagosa Springs. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through mid-September.

A quilter in the early 1950s would have had an easy time laying out a quilt of the states. A rectangle of six blocks wide by eight blocks long would allow one block for each state and make a nice-sized bed quilt.

Dillie crafted her quilt just this way in the mid-1950s and today we have a gorgeous example of American art on display at the San Juan Historical Society Museum.

According to Adelia (Dillie) Stamps’ granddaughter, Adelia Stamps Ketchum, the patterns for Dillie’s state flowers probably were purchased via mail-order from an offer found in her local newspaper — she lived in Waldron, Ark. She also relates that Dillie did a lot of research before embroidering the flowers in each state block, making sure she had the correct colors for each flower.

Adelia Ketchum received the quilt in the mid-1980s.

When the historical society was working to gather quilts for this summer’s “Star Spangled Quilts” display, Ketchum was one of the first to respond. Immediately we knew the quilt would fit right in. Upon Ketchum dropping off the quilt, it became even more apparent that the quilt was perfect for this patriotic quilt display. Dillie had chosen to set the state flower blocks together with sashing of red, white and blue.

Dillie was a skilled and prolific quilter. She completed a quilt for each of her grandchildren — all 41 of them. And she created a quilt top for all of her great grandchildren.

Dillie’s state flowers quilt is one of several quilts with a patriotic theme that make up this year’s “Star Spangled Quilts” display. The quilts will only be on display through this summer season — an exhibit you won’t want to miss.

Exhibits

The quilts, special and beautiful as they are, are only a small bit of what is housed in the museum. Browsing through the artifacts, you may be intrigued by the mosasaur — yep, found right here in Archuleta County. Or you may prefer the general store exhibit, or gain an appreciation for our more modern conveniences after seeing the food processor in the kitchen. From saddles and farm machinery, to office machines and school desks and books, you are bound to find something that stirs up memories of and interest in days gone by.

Gift shop

After perusing through the many displays, be sure to browse the gift shop. From books pertaining to southwest history to items handcrafted right here in Pagosa Springs, you are sure to find the perfect memento of your visit.

Playing cards

The Society produced a set of historic playing cards a few years back. On each card is a photo from the area. The playing cards are a fundraiser for the Society and are available at the gift shop.

Free admission

All donations and gift shop sales are used to fund operations of the museum, which is open to the public with no admission charge.

Open daily

To make it more convenient to plan a visit, the Pagosa Springs history museum is open daily through mid-September from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is located at 96 Pagosa St., next to the bridge on the east side of downtown. Be sure to stop in. Ann or Rebekah will make you feel right at home.

This story was posted on June 26, 2014.