Find out about the craft and symbolism of bed coverlets at We Have You Covered, the new exhibit at the History Center’s Col. William Bond-Jesse Hawley House. The exhibit opens Sunday,

This quilt shown in the Bond House was made in 1857 by Clarissa Sears in Newfane.

This quilt shown in the Bond House was made in 1852 by Clarissa Sears in Newfane, Niagara County.

June 25, from 1-4 p.m., and will be open those hours every Sunday and Monday through the summer. We Have You Covered will present examples of bed coverlets from the History Center’s collection.

Bed coverlets were a staple of everyday use in most homes from the colonial era until the late 1800s and generally homemade on a loom. They were made of dyed wool, most often a dark indigo blue, like our example in the photo at right, and woven on a linen or cotton cord.

Coverlets very often tell a story. Most homemakers wove their own, sometimes borrowing a loom if they didn’t have one. Our example, typical of many, contains an inscription woven directly into the coverlet design, usually in a corner block. Inscriptions carried the weaver’s name, location of the loom, and year of weaving.

Coverlet designs ranged from simple geometric patterns to more elaborate motifs of shells, flowers, eagles and other images. All coverlets had a pattern and some were enhanced with decorative fringe.

The Bond-Hawley House is the oldest brick home in Lockport and includes 12 fully furnished rooms. The coverlet exhibit will be shown throughout the house.

We Have You Covered is co-curated by Becky and Gloria Pittler, volunteers who create the Bond House seasonal and Christmas exhibits every year. Many, many thanks to them!

Donations are accepted for admission. Please call the History Center at (716) 434-7433 for information.

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