Belle Grove Plantation and Virginia Quilt Museum Collaborate on Exhibit
A special focus of Belle Grove's November 2015 Antiques Appraisal & Traditional Crafts Fair was an exhibit of Northern Shenandoah Valley quilts. Belle Grove collaborated with the Virginia Quilt Museum on the exhibit. Belle Grove showed some of the quilts in its collections that are rarely on display and the Virginia Quilt Museum exhibited antique quilts of similar themes and styles unique to the Shenandoah Valley.
The inspiration for the exhibit was the Virginia Quilt Museum's 20th anniversary. When it was first in development, the museum was based at Belle Grove in Middletown and it was later established at its current Harrisonburg location. “Although the Virginia Quilt Museum has since been declared the Official Quilt Museum of Virginia and now collects quilts from throughout the Commonwealth, its founding collection in 1995 was comprised of just 15 regional Shenandoah Valley quilts,” says Kim McCray, the Virginia Quilt Museum’s Director. Several of these original quilts were in the exhibit.
One highlight was the “Belle Grove Album Quilt” made in 1991 by Virginia master quilters to benefit the Virginia Quilt Museum; it is in the Harrisonburg museum’s collection today. Among the appliqued flowers and fruits is a block that depicts the Belle Grove’s 1797 Manor House and handwritten names of Hite family members. In addition to the historical quilts, Belle Grove's dining room featureed contemporary quilts made by area quilt guilds and there was demonstrations of hand quilting in the Winter Kitchen.
At the conclusion of the exhibit, the Virginia Quilt Museum presented Belle Grove with a plaque about the history of the museum and how it began at Belle Grove.
The Virginia Quilt Museum is located at 301 S. Main Street, Harrisonburg, Virginia in the antebellum Warren-Sipe House. The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.