A blog sponsored by the Michigan State University Museum's Michigan Traditional Arts Program, a partnership with the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. Sharing news and information about the Great Lakes Folk Festival, Quilt Index, the MSU Museum's traditional arts activities, Great Lakes traditional artists and arts resources, and much more. Development of content for this blog supported by funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Uncle Eli's Quilting Party, Alamance County, North Carolina

We love this video from Sawgrass Media of Uncle Eli's Quilting Party in Alamance County, North Carolina.

Here's the blurb from their site:
Every spring, on the first Thursday in April, folks gather in the tiny community of Eli Whitney, North Carolina, to look at quilts, trade stories, and share a meal. The event, known as Uncle Eli’s Quilting Party, was the brainchild of high school principal Ernest Dixon, who in 1931 wanted the school to be a gathering place for the entire community. 80 women attended the first party in Eli Whitney’s high school auditorium, and 13 quilts were completed. 84 years later, Uncle Eli’s Quilting Party is the oldest quilting event in the country.
For almost fifty years, three women played a major role in organizing the annual event: Nannie Lou McBane, Mildred Guthrie, and the late Pat Bailey. Nowadays, not as much quilting goes on at Uncle Eli's. There are just two quilting frames set up, and only a few people work at them. But the quiltmakers are here, even if they don’t pick up needle and thread. Uncle Eli’s Quilting Party is a community tradition kept alive by local folks and quilt lovers from across the state and country.
That's the kind of community event we like to see!