All Tours by Appointment Only: Call (585) 589-9013

Orleans County Coverlets – Fri. May 3 at 6pm

Marty Schlabach is coming to the Thompson-Kast Visitors Center on Friday, May 3 at 6pm to present an educational program on our Orleans County 19th century coverlet collection. A guided tour of our coverlet collection is also included.

Coverlets are woven bedcovers. In the 19th century most American homes had spinning-wheels and looms. A wide array of types of cloth was woven by the women of the family for household use, including geometric patterned coverlets. There were also professional weavers who wove specialty textiles and earned some or all of their living practicing their trade. Figured & Fancy coverlets were one of the specialty items and they required specialty equipment usually only found in the professional weave shop. Following an introduction to coverlets, the coverlet weavers of Orleans County will be highlighted in this presentation.

Marty Schlabach came to coverlets through his wife, Mary Jean Welser. She has been interested in and collected textiles for many years, with a particular interest in quilts. Something more than 10 years ago, while pawing through a pile of textiles at a local estate sale, Mary Jean came across two whole cloth late 18th century quilts and one geometric patterned coverlet. Thus started their interest in, exploration and collection of coverlets. As a retired librarian, Marty particularly enjoys the historical research associated with learning about coverlets and their weavers. He continues his interest in libraries as president of the Board of the Interlaken Public Library. He is a member of the Board of the National Museum of the American Coverlet in Bedford, PA and two years ago started a monthly online Coverlet Study Group. Marty & Mary Jean live in the Finger Lakes area of NY, spend substantial time gardening and working on their 1840s Greek Revival farmhouse.

This is a free public program. Free will donations gladly accepted. Reservations strongly encouraged (585) 589-9013 or