Colonial Williamsburg® The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's Official History and Citizenship Website

Page content
Reset text sizeResize text larger

September 30, 2008

“‘Quilted Fashions’: 400 Years of Quilting” Symposium examines history of bedcovers and fashions past and present

Marianne Fons, co-host of the popular public television series “Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting” and co-executive editor of “Love of Quilting” magazine, will be the keynote speaker at Colonial Williamsburg’s symposium, “‘Quilted Fashions’: 400 Years of Quilting.” The symposium, which will be held Feb. 22-25, 2009, brings together nationwide experts for two days of illustrated lectures on quilts and quilted clothing from 1600 to present.

Fons will discuss “Why We Quilt” at 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 22 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.

Windham Fabrics, creator of fabrics for quilters and licensed manufacturer of WILLIAMSBURG quilt fabrics, sponsors an opening reception that follows at 6 p.m.

Visiting presenters include: Lynne Zacek Bassett, independent scholar, Palmer, Mass., who discusses “Exploring New England’s Quilts, from Whole Cloth to Friendship Styles”; Patricia T. Herr, researcher, collector and dealer of Pennsylvania historic textiles, Lancaster, Pa., who presents “Piecing Together Cultures: Quilts of Southeastern Pennsylvania”; and Elly Sienkiewicz, author and independent scholar, Washington, D.C., who examines “Baltimore’s Album Quilts, A Visible Face of Social Revolution.”

Additional visiting presenters include: Alden O’Brien, curator of costume and textiles, Daughter of the American Revolution Museum, Washington, D.C., who examines “Amelia Lauck: A Case Study of Southern Quilts”; Barbara Brackman, historian and author, Lawrence, Kan., who discusses “‘Dorcas Has Commenced a Quilt’: Quiltmaking in Slavery”; and Linda Eaton, curator of textiles, Winterthur Museum, Winterthur, Del., who reviews “Collecting Quilts in the Early 20th Century.”

Colonial Williamsburg professionals who are participating in the program include: Linda Baumgarten, Colonial Williamsburg curator of textile and costume, who explores “Quilted Fashions: Quilting from 1600 to 1800”; and Kimberly Smith Ivey, Colonial Williamsburg’s associate curator of textiles, who reviews “Pieced Together: The Stories of Women and Their Quilts” with the assistance of the milliners and mantua-makers of Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Trades shops, the Costume Design Center and the museums education department.

Several tours and workshops are available for an additional fee and include:

  • “Textile Conservation Laboratory Tour,” Loreen Finkelstein, Colonial Williamsburg conservator of textiles;
  • “Curator’s Walking Tour and Discussion in Exhibition: ‘Quilted Fashions’: 400 Years of Quilting,” Linda Baumgarten;
  • “Textile and Quilt Storage Tour,” Kimberly Smith Ivey;
  • “Costume Design Center Tour”;
  • “Stitch Your Way into History,” Beth Gerhold, Colonial Williamsburg’s textile refurnisher; and
  • “Quilt Your Own Trip Keepsake Workshop,” Christina Westenberger, Colonial Williamsburg’s assistant manager of museum education.

“Quilted Fashions” registration can be done by mail, fax, phone or online at Registration is $295. Preregistration and payment in full are required. Payment can be made in the form of check, or charged to American Express, Discover, Visa and MasterCard. Registration includes the opening and closing receptions, two coffee breaks, one afternoon break, a boxed lunch, presentations and a Colonial Williamsburg admission pass valid for the duration of the conference.

There are four easy ways to register for the “Quilted Fashions” Symposium:

  • Online:
  • Phone: 1-800-603-0948, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. EST
  • Fax: (757) 565-8921
  • Mail: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Conferences, Forums and Workshops, P.O. Box 1776, Williamsburg, Va. 23187-1776.

Special hotel rates are available at the Colonial Williamsburg Resort Collection for symposium registrants. Hotel rates are for single or double occupancy, per night and do not include applicable taxes. For more information and reservations, call 1-800-HISTORY.

Distinctive dining options are offered throughout the Colonial Williamsburg Resort Collection and in the Historic Area. From a classically elegant setting to a more casual atmosphere to signature tavern dining experiences, each of Colonial Williamsburg’s restaurants and taverns is within steps of the conference facilities. Dining reservations can be made by calling 1-800-261-9530, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.

The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg offers a full menu of services. A team of world-renowned experts have collaborated to create a spa that exudes southern charm, harmonizes with its historical surroundings, reflects its colonial heritage, and honors traditions of health and wellness throughout American culture. To make your reservation call: 1-800-688-6479.

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture – stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic trades people research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution for its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. “Revolutionary City®,” a dramatic live street theater presentation, is a 2008 Rand McNally Best-of-the-Road™ Editor’s Pick. Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121