As we are all painfully aware, a number of communities across Nebraska were devastated this season by catastrophic tornadoes, most notably Pilger and Beaver Crossing. In the aftermath of these terrible misfortunes, Nebraskans joined together in order to provide support – emotional, physical, and financial – to these areas. As these towns and their citizens continued the rebuild, the Nebraska History Museum worked to find a way to lend their support during this time of need.
And then they found the perfect idea: Quilts!
Through the generosity of NHM volunteer Karen Heiser, who stitched dozens of quilts for the museum’s educational purposes, and the handiwork of hundreds of school children, the museum is now able to donate a bounty of beautiful, handmade quilts to the children and families of Pilger and Beaver Crossing. The quilts were delivered last Friday.
Since 2012, school-aged children, either visiting with their families or with school tours, have been tying quilts on display in the Museum. Following a popular exhibit on depression-era quilts from 2010-12, all children visiting the NHM have had the opportunity to interact with the museum’s quilt cart and quilting station. Tying quilts gives them an understanding of the labor that goes into creating such essential household items.
The educational programs that the NHM provides, overseen by the amazing Judy Keetle, are an essential piece of the museum’s mission. This is why, as the museum prepares to close its doors in anticipation of significant renovations, Judy and her team are already making plans to host offsite educational events.
While the Nebraska History Museum is closed, educational presentations will be given for school groups at the Nebraska State Historical Society HQ (located at 15th and R Streets in Lincoln) – part of Nebraska History “Museum on the Move” programming.
And there will be plenty more quilting! During the “Pioneers” presentation, for example, kids will be tying quilts, as pioneers did at quilting bees, so we anticipate that NSHS will have many more quilts to donate to families in crisis throughout Nebraska in the future.