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Trails Center
Release Date: 02/18/14
Contacts: Lesley A. Elser    

Trails Center Presents Temporary Exhibits on Needlework:
"Plain and Fancy: Art of the Needle" and "Women of Courage" Quilt

The National Historic Trails Interpretive Center (NHTIC) is recognizing Women’s History Month with two temporary exhibits: “Plain and Fancy: Art of the Needle” and “Women of Courage” quilt.


A Singer hand crank sewing machine, dating back to around 1886. The exhibit includes three antique sewing machines,
courtesy of Pam Elliot

 From the “Flower Sampler” by Ann Hudson
“Flower Sampler”
by Ann Hudson

“Fortieth Birthday Portrait,” by India Hayford
“Fortieth Birthday Portrait” by India Hayford

 “Women of Courage” quilt
“Women of Courage”
The exhibits open March 1 and runs through April.  The ladies of the Casper Needle Guild will present free needlework demonstrations at the Trails Center on March 1 from 1 to 3 p.m.

“Plain and Fancy: Art of the Needle” was coordinated by the Casper Needle Guild, and curated by Sue Blakey, director of the Wyoming Fiber Trails Project, and Alex Rose, interpreter at the NHTIC.  The exhibit includes 55 pieces representing needlework techniques.  “Plain and Fancy” celebrates the 40 th anniversary of the Casper Needle Guild, established in 1974.

“The exhibit is a modern connection to our pioneer past,” Rose said. “The diversity of needlework represented in this exhibit is extraordinary.”

The exhibit shows traditional and contemporary pieces representing a variety of needlework techniques, including Norwegian hardanger, Brazilian embroidery and Rozashi Japanese needlepoint.

“If there is a symbol of women throughout the centuries of pre-recorded and recorded history, it is the needle,” Blakey said. “When families appear, so does the needle.”

The exhibit includes a Kid’s Corner, where children can learn how to create their own designs with basic stitching.

The “Women of Courage” quilt recognizes 15 women who made their mark on world history.  Each block design corresponds with a heroine.  Some of the women are prominently featured in history, such as Sojourner Truth and Helen Keller.  Others are less well known: Examples include Bessie Coleman, first African-American female pilot, and Nancy Wake, a member of the French Resistance during World War II.

The exhibit includes photographs and biographies of each courageous woman.  “The quilt was designed to honor women throughout history that led courageous lives,” Rose said.

The quilt was designed by Denise Lipscomb of Waxahachie, Texas, and created by award winning quilter and quilting instructor Pam Elliot of Prism Quilt and Sew in Casper.

For more information contact the NHTIC, (307) 261-7780.

The Casper Needle Guild is a chapter of the Embroiders’ Guild of America, and is open to all who are interested in learning various stitching techniques, especially using a needle with an eye.  The Casper Needle Guild is the only EGA chapter in Wyoming.  For more information call 307-577-1148 or visit .

The Wyoming Fiber Trails Project is an on-line resource that promotes the fiber arts.  For more information, visit  

The NHTIC is a part of the BLM's National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS). The areas of the NLCS are specifically designed to conserve, protect and restore the exceptional scientific, natural, cultural, ecological, historical, and recreation values of these treasured landscapes.
The NHTIC is a public-private partnership between the BLM and the National Historic Trails Center Foundation.  The facility is located at 1501 N. Poplar Street, Casper, Wyo.  The Center is currently operating on winter hours, and is open Tuesday – Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Trails Center   1501 North Poplar Street      Casper, WY 82601  

Last updated: 02-19-2014