19th Annual Quilt Exhibit at EHS

Haley Kaul, News Writer

In March each year, our library gets some new decorations, the quilt exhibit. But not many of us know why the quilts are there or how this whole exhibit started.

In 1995, the Minnesota Quilters Organization had their annual convention at Eagan. One of the activities at the convention was “Meet the Teachers.” The faculty paid to come in and learn how to make quilts. Over the years, the collection of quilts grew as they continued to make more. Mrs. Nagel saw the library as a great way to display quilts.

Former EHS teacher, Ms. Strait, used to teach a women’s study class. She would take the class into the library and they would discuss the quilts. Mrs. Nagel said, “They would go in and talk a little bit about how women’s history was reflected in the quilts they made before they had the opportunity to be educated or could vote.” The class also made their own quilts, which were hung up in the Student Quilts section.

Other types of classes would go to the library to see the exhibit too. Art classes may go to look at color theory. Math classes may go down to look at the geometry. The quilts are woven into our teaching curriculum.

When March became Women’s History Month everything fell into place. They started hanging the quilts for the month. That year more local quilters started hanging their pieces up with the student quilts. They also included a “featured quilt artist” who would be the anchor of the show. The artist would donation eight to ten quilts to display. That artist would also give an opening day lecture to anyone that wanted to come. This year at the opening day event, on March 1, about 250 people came to look at the quilts and listen to Pat Speth, this years featured artist, in the auditorium.

The exhibit is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on school days. There have been many members of the community without children in the school system coming in to view the quilts throughout the day. The administration sees this as a great opportunity because as Mrs. Nagel puts it, “When you don’t have a student in school, you just read about the bad things in the paper. So, when they come here they see kids working and getting along together. It is just a really positive reflection of what the school is in our community.”

The quilt display sure has grown since the show started. Mrs. Nagel said that their used to be a foot and a half between. Now, they barely put a hand width between each quilt. The exhibit is only here until March 20, so be sure to check it out.