Museum offers variety of exhibits through summer months

“Whig Rose Medallion,” a quilting dating from about 1850, is on display at The San Juan Historical Society Museum May 12 through Sept. 19 as part of the special exhibit “Quilts from the Trunk of Cindy Vermillion Hamilton.”

More than 35 quilts are included in the exhibit. With the exception of “To England and Back,” a first-place winner at this year’s American Quilter’s Society Quilt Show and Contest held in Paducah, Ky., all of the quilts in the display are antique quilts collected over Hamilton’s years of studying quilt history. The quilts date from 1843.

“Whig Rose Medallion”

This medallion quilt is an example of patterns and fabrics that were popular diring the mid 1800s. This quilt is stitched from the red and green fabrics that were popular for the time. The design, however, is unusual for red and green quilts. Usually these quilts were made in the familiar block or album style, where this quilt uses a medallion placement.

“Antique English Medallion”

As you view the Ableskiver pan in the kitchen display at the museum, your gaze may be drawn to the quilt displayed above the sideboard. This is the “Antique English Medallion” quilt, which dates from 1890. It is made from many pieces of fabrics from England. The center of the quilt includes five minature blocks. The borders are composed of pieced patterns typically seen in English quilts. The quilt has hundreds and hundreds of pieces stitched together to form the top. The border is a folded-triangle, which today American quilters refer to as Prairie Points.


And, about that Ableskiver pan.

For years this unique pan has been a part of the kitchen display. It appears that one would put some kind of batter in the rounded depressions and oven bake. Not so. The Ableskiver is a Danish pastry with the consistency of a pancake, usually having apple slices in it. The batter is spooned into the pan and cooked on top of the stove. As the batter cooks, the pastry is rotated in the pan so that all sides are cooked. A photo of a pan in use shows the cook using a knitting needle to rotate the Ableskiver. When you see this pan, use your imagination to see how you might turn the pastries.

Free admission

This summer, there is no admission fee to the museum. The board of directors is making this offer to encourage more people to attend this unique exhibit and also take advantage of all of the interesting artifacts from Archuleta County’s history.

Voluntary donations will be accepted to defray operating expenses.

No quilts will be for sale, but the museum has a small gift shop, which carries Hamilton’s book “Medallion Quilts Inspiration & Patterns.” Books of regional historical interest, vintage quilt patterns, historical playing cards, and a few locally handcrafted items includeing fabric postcards and bags are also available.

The San Juan Historical Society Museum is located at the corner of U.S. 160 and 1st Street on the eastern end of Pagosa Springs. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Closing date for the season is Sept. 19.

Be sure to take advantage of this special opportunity to visit Pagosa Springs’ own museum.