Our first glimpse of the fun about to come was before breakfast, where Kay noticed a local newspaper called "The Fishwrapper", a salute to history even in the title. Think back, or if you don't have first hand knowledge, research what items would have been sold at an old dry goods store. That is the focus of the Penn Dry Goods Market held annually at the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center. The market itself is a glimpse of treasures brought by various vendors selling their wares of quilts, books, buttons, and bows. Vendors are required to have a majority of their wares in the textile category.
Besides the antique vendor show, there are two days of special lectures on textiles as well as the history of textiles. This year I was honored to present the trunk show “Celebrating the Blues: From Africa to America,” showing many of the quilts from our book Indigo Quilts. Debby Cooney presented on signature quilts, including showing the James and Mary Thompson Quaker signature quilt top as well as a special 1807 quilt from the same family.
Other lectures covered samplers and the amazing Schwenkfelder townscape needlework pictures. If you ever run across another townscape in your antique hunting, don't hesitate to contact the museum. Curator Candace Perry would love to find more of these treasures!
The Schwenkfelder Library also provided an amazing display of frakturs, furniture, and textiles. The exhibition provides a glimpse into the early life of the Schwenkfelders in the colonial Pennsylvania. They were an industrious group of artisans creating a new life for their community in a new world. All of these viewing and learning options are combined into two unforgettable days. Watch the Schwenkfelder website here for updated info on the next Penn Dry Goods Market held every May.