BETTY WATERS, email@example.com
A new type of festival is popping up across the U.S. that harkens back in history to the days when women would wash and hang out to dry heavy winter quilts and hang out to air clean lightweight summer quilts that had been stored during the winter.
At the end of the day, they would pack the winter quilts away and put the summer quilts on the bed.
The recently formed Christian Quilt Guild will sponsor Tyler’s first “Airing of the Quilts” festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 21 on T.B. Butler Plaza downtown. The guild will hang on display different types of quilts that members have made and various organizations will have booths.
The second local “Airing of the Quilts” will be April 21, 2018, also on the square. Both festivals will be free and open to the public.
“Historically, in April women would pull quilts off the bed because they had been used all winter, wash them and hang them out to dry, Jerriann Massey, who initiated the creation of the Christian Quilt Guild, said. “The spring and summer quilts would come out of the trunk. They were clean, but they needed to be aired out so they hung them out.”
They would “flip-flop” winter and summer quilts in April and October through the 1940s until electricity reached every home, Ms. Massey said.
Organizations expected to have tables at the “Airing of the Quilts Festival” in Tyler include Christian Quilt Guild, Quilters Guild of East Texas, The Hospice of East Texas, Christian Women’s Job Corps, Tyler Area Senior Citizen’s Association and others.
“Airing of the Quilts” festival is just a way to honor the past and to involve the community and let them know what we are doing,” Ms. Massey said.
Christian Quilt Guild makes quilts for children on The Salvation Army Angel Tree, for patients of The Hospice of East Texas and for hospice volunteers to use in working with dementia and Alzheimer’s patients who reside at home.