Quilt Historian to Lecture Sept. 14 at WSU

PULLMAN, Wash. — Noted quilt historian Mary Bywater Cross will discuss the historical significance of quilts she has collected during a Sept. 14 talk at Washington State University.

The noon presentation is set for the Compton Union Building’s Cascade Room 123 and is open to the public without charge.

On Sept. 15, Cross will lead a tour of her current exhibit at WSU, “Quilts: Stitched Records of Human Experience,” from noon-2 p.m. at Holland Library’s Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections area.

The historian mounted the exhibit in July as part of the Fifth Women’s West Conference held at WSU. Two quilts are from the Latah County Historical Society in Moscow. Among the other exhibited quilts are a family history quilt containing both white and Indian ancestors, a bicentennial quilt celebrating African-American history and a baby quilt passed down in Cross’ own family. The exhibit will remain on display at the WSU library through Oct. 15.

Cross, who lives in Portland, Ore., has a strong interest in western women’s history. Her first book, “Treasures in the Trunk: Quilts of the Oregon Trail,” won an Award of Merit from the American Association of State and Local History. Her second book, “Quilts and Women of the Mormon Migrations,” is equally noteworthy, said WSU history professor Susan Armitage.

Cross’ talk is sponsored by the WSU Women’s Center.