Quilt hop to feature Eva E. Gentry Collection

staff reports
The Dresden Plate pattern quilt made by Eva E. Gentry is on loan to the Sam Rayburn House from the Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site.

Bonham is gearing up for its annual quilt hop to be held July 30-31. Both days, quilts will be on display from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at sites around the city.

This year's event will include more than 300 quilts to be viewed at 10 sites.

"Within our Visitor Center, you will find the Rayburn family’s Prairie Rose trapunto-styled quilt, dated to 1850, on display," a news release from Sam Rayburn House State Historic Site said. "However, upon entering the Rayburn House, you will see three quilts we have on loan from the Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site and two quilts from their Eva E. Gentry Collection."

The Eisenhower and Gentry quilts are the new additions to the Rayburn House Quilt Hop.

"This will be the first time ever that Gentry’s quilts will be on display for the public, allowing everyone a great opportunity to see a rare collection of North Texas African American material culture," the release said.

Eva E. Gentry was born Eva E. Hill on September 1, 1903 in Fannin County.

"The family likely lived in Ravenna, Texas, and attended Siloam Baptist Church. She married Henderson Gentry on November 19, 1924, and the couple moved to Denison, Texas, in 1953," the release said. "There, Eva became an active member of Mt. Olive Baptist Church. During 1966, she lived at 620 S. Lamar Avenue, just one block north of President Dwight David Eisenhower’s birthplace in Denison. After her death on January 12, 2000, Texas Parks and Wildlife (the caretakers of the Eisenhower Birthplace site at the time), preserved over 500 of Eva’s belongings."

In the collection, there were quilting tools, quilt tops, and quilts

"The Eisenhower Birthplace quilts on display will be two Crazy quilts, and a Princess Pattern Quilt," the release said. "These quilts were donated by members of the Denison community, and all are dated to before 1950. If you can’t attend the Quilt Hop, no worries! The quilts will be on display throughout August as part of the regular Rayburn House tour."

While the grounds will be open to visitors, during the quilt hop, only certain areas of the first floor of the Sam Rayburn house will be accessible.

"All tours of the site will be free during the Quilt Hop, and visitors will take a self-guided tour of the first floor at their leisure – there are no scheduled tour times during the event," the release said. "We also have some small beginner quilting kits, cross stitch bookmarks, and mugs featuring the Prairie Rose quilt design for sale."

The quilt hop will include some small beginner quilting kits, cross stitch bookmarks, and mugs featuring the Prairie Rose quilt design for sale.

The site also hosts a bi-monthly open house called," Board of Education."

Saturday from 2-3 p.m., Jennifer Parsley, from the Eisenhower Birthplace in Denison, will give a talk titled, “Patchwork, Crazy, Broderie Perse, Oh My! An Inside Look at our Quilt Hop Display,” at the Sam Rayburn House.

Light refreshments will be available.

For more information, contact Jennifer Parsley at 903-465-8908 or email her at Jennifer.Parsley@thc.texas.gov. 

For more information about the Quilt Hop, contact the Bonham Visitors Center