Bicentennial Quilt

Molly Conlin was our guest speaker at last year’s annual meeting. She shared with us the ins and outs of putting this incredible piece of art together. Under Molly’s gracious leadership, a total of 30 Nahant women gathered at the Conlin home to create the quilt in honor of our country’s Bicentennial celebration. We learned from Molly, and some of the other quilters who were in attendance, that a few husbands ‘lost’ their shirts and ties for the good of the Bicentennial. Some of their children were also involved in the project.

The quilt was made entirely by hand, from the hand-drawn templates to the last stitch in the individual squares. Life-long friendships developed during this process and hold strong 43 years later. Many of the original ‘Tilting Quilters’ attended the meeting, as did family members of those no longer with us.Some of these ladies, joined by newcomers, continue to create wonderfully nostalgic quilts, representing various histories of Nahant. These quilts are often put up as raffle items in support of good causes important to Nahant.

After hanging in the Public Library for over 40 years, without a proper airing out, the quilt was taken to Windsor Conservation in Dover. Due to the variety of materials used, each individual square had to be cleaned and repaired by hand. This was carefully completed by Deirdre Windsor and her staff over the course of many months.

The quilt temporarily hangs in the 41 Gallery space on the second floor of the Community Center, where it can be seen by appointment. In 2019, we will move it to a permanent home on the second floor, where it can be enjoyed for generations to come.