top of page
IMG_1621_edited_edited_edited.jpg

1867 HISTORIC QUILT

CONSERVATION AND FRAMING

This Historic Quilt, made by the ladies of the Pascack Reformed Church, was completed in 1867.  Each block is an original design.  Every block was quilted individually, then all were sewn together to form this 96”x 96” quilt.  Most of the blocks were hand-stitched, but a few women owned the brand new “sewing machine” and used this prized possession to stitch their blocks.  The center block features the initials “J.T.D.”, in honor of John Terhune Demarest, who was the first full-time pastor of the church, and who retired in 1867. 

It was presented to Dr. Henry C. Neer, in appreciation of his leadership as director of music for the Church and Sunday School.  On April 13, 1984, the quilt was donated to the Church by Alphra A. Hatch, the great great granddaughter of Dr. Henry C. Neer.  On November 13, 2002, the quilt was examined for preservation treatment at The Textile Conservation Workshop in South Salem, New York.  The examining conservator described the quilt as follows:

 “This beautiful quilt features 49 appliqued and embroidered blocks, depicting largely floral or animal imagery in shades of red,  green, blue-green, some pink, brown and/or orange on an undyed plain-woven ground fabric.  Most of the quilting has no batting, but many of the individual design elements have been stuffed.  Each block was signed by its creator either in ink or in stitching.  Each block was quilted in a variety of patterns, some by hand and some by machine.”

Preservation treatment, completed on February 24, 2003, included:

  1. Removal of three metal rings originally attached for hanging the quilt.  Stitches holding the rings were clipped, and thread fragments were extracted with tweezers. 

  2. Cleaning of the front and back of the quilt to remove particulate dust and soils.  This cleaning was accomplished using a hand-held vacuum cleaner. 

  3. Localized spot treatment using warm, deionized water.  This treatment minimized stains and neutralized the acidity of the stains.

  4. In September, 2018, the Women’s Circle of the Pascack Reformed Church initiated the framing of the historic quilt, with the goal of making it accessible for viewing to all church members and visitors, while protecting the priceless cultural heritage represented by the quilt.

Archival (conservation) framing of the quilt was provided by Frame It Yourself in Westwood, New Jersey.  Specifically:

  1. The entirety of the quilt was photographed for historical documentation.

  2. The quilt was carefully folded along stitched lines to create a manageable presentation size, and to show the defining central dedication block.

  3. A 6” deep custom frame was built and outfitted with a plexi-dowel.  The dowel will not off-gas any materials that could harm the quilt.

  4. The interior faces of the frame were lined with black cotton rag board to create an aesthetically pleasing surround, and to protect the interior of the framed piece from wood off-gassing.

  5. The folded quilt was suspended from the dowel, and the back fold of the quilt was hand sewn to a black cotton board using white cotton thread.  This will hold the quilt in place on the dowel, while allowing the front fold to hang freely;

  6. The UV-filter plexi-glass will protect the delicate colors in the quilt from light-induced fade and damage.

On February 23, 2019, the completed framed historic quilt was professionally installed in the lobby of the Pascack Reformed Church administration building, where it is safely displayed and enjoyed by all interested members of our community.

bottom of page