A distinctive quilt depicting the annual visits of the Sandhill Crane to Nebraska’s Platte River has been rehung for public display and appreciation.
"The Crane River Morning quilt is back," said Carolyn K. Ducey, as the quilt pieces were placed on a wall in Hardin Hall, a recently remodeled building at East Campus, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Shelly Burge was commissioned to create the intricate quilt by Kristina Tiebel and Linda Vescio, owners of Crane River brew-pub who wanted to feature a quilt showing cranes of spring on the Platte River. Once hung in December 1992, the quilt was a visual treat to patrons, which often came in just to see the magnificent piece.
Dancing cranes portion of Crane River Morning.
“This quilt is a work of art.” said Jim Swinehart, professor of geology. “It also has a natural resources theme, with the cranes, river, flora, fauna and water fitting with areas of studies at Hardin Hall.”
Long wooden boards for the quilt to hang on were prepared by Clint Burge, Shelly's husband, "as the size of the quilt meant we needed special slats," explained Ducey, for the quilt brought from the International Quilt Study Center.
Facilities staff covered electrical outlets and adjusted fire alarms to accommodate the two fabric pieces for the 26’.6” x 6’.3”quilt at the second floor foyer of the Hall.
The foyer is a public space used for social events held by the School of Natural Resource Sciences which has their offices in the building, and as a general reception area for seminars.
“The quilt certainly livens up the foyer, and viewing is better here than at Crane River,” said Swinehart. “There it was high on a wall” where less of the detail could be readily seen.
The quilt was donated to IQSG in the latter part of 2003 with the intent that it would be placed on public display.
Swinehart, Kyle Hoagland, and David Wedin, also of the SNRS facilitated the donation of the quilt to the quilt center.
Prior to being rehung, students in the textiles studies conservation training program at Rhode Island University cleaned the quilt as part of their education, Ducey said. The School of Natural Resource Sciences paid the $500 cost, said Swinehart, plus a $60 fee for an appraisal. The quilt was valued about $7,500 then.
Crane River Morning is on permanent educational loan for presentation in Hardin Hall.
Mike Jess, senior lecturer at SNRS; Lois Wilson, IQSC volunteer; Janet Price, IQSC curatorial graduate assistant; Karla Salda, IQSC volunteer; Carolyn K. Ducey, curator of collections at IQSC; Lauren Davis, IQSC volunter; Ryan Bernt and Darrell Knight of Building Services, Maintenance.
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Reception Held to Recognize Quilt Donation
Patricia Crews, Carolyn K. Ducey, Kristina Tiebel, Linda Vescio, Shelly Burge and Clint Burge at the quilt reception.
“The quilt and the Hardin Hall space fit together so well,” said Shelly Burge after seeing the two large quilt pieces hanging on the wallspace.
Jim Swinehart making comments at the reception.
“Making this quilt has been one of the highlights of my 35 years of quilting,” she said, adding that more research time was put into this piece – her largest - than any other quilt previously made. This included a visit to view stuffed Sandhill Crane specimens – especially their toes – at the University of Nebraska State Museum.
“We are all delighted this quilt can have a continued life at the school of natural resources,” said Patricia Crews, director of the International Quilt Study Center. “This is a perfect home and a perfect setting for people to enjoy it.”
Jim Swinehart thanked Shelly Burge and others for the donation of the quilt to the University and for efforts to get it back on public display, at Hardin Hall.
About fifty people attended the reception.