The Quilts of the Kawartha Registry

The Registry is a joint project between the Kawartha Regions Art and Heritage Society and Settlers’ Village Quilters Quilting Guild. In 1995 a Registry Committee was formed under the direction of Anne Cleland and Pam Gray. Individuals could make an appointment to bring quilts to the Kawartha Settlers Village and/or to designated locations the committee organized. From their conception, this committee has registered over 1000 quilts.

A quilt registry is one way of keeping an ongoing record of social behavior and changes in our community. Quilting was one of the oldest arts in existence. Many people own quilts that have been in their families for generations. If only these quilts could talk! In their own way, these quilts can tell us many things. The most obvious information we can gain is related to changes in the textile industry. They can tell us what kinds of materials were available as well as what colours of fabrics, block design, techniques, patterns, and overall quilt designs were popular at a given time. Information gathering does not stop there! If the quilt is signed or labelled, it can tell us who made the quilt and where it was made. An appointment is made and time allotted to gain as much information about the quilter and the quilt’s journey from the owner. The registered quilts tell the story of the people who have lived here in the Kawartha Lakes area.

Together the owner and Quilt Registry team will complete information forms and photos will be taken of the quilt. Each quilt will be given its own registration number. The owner will be given a numbered certificate and label for his/her own record keeping.

Currently, quilts continue to be registered at the Wray house in Kawartha Settlers’ Village during their Settlers’ Day celebration each June. Please contact Judy Cameron at info@settlersvillagequilters.ca to arrange to register your quilts. It is important to register as many heritage quilts as possible, however, new quilts should be registered as well to maintain our ongoing “story”.