During the early nineteenth century, pioneers used spinning wheels and looms to make their textiles. Handwork like sewing and quilt making was performed primarily by women. Mothers taught their daughters from a young age, as women were expected to sew her family’s clothes and linens. The invention of the sewing machine in 1845 shifted the focus from pure necessity to allow for more experimentation and creativity.
This exhibit features early textile devices and tools from spinning wheels and looms to a foot pedal sewing machine. Examples of handwork include hooked rugs, lace, embroidery, and crochet. The Museum also houses an impressive quilt collection of nearly two hundred pieced and applique quilts dating back to the 1810s.