Thu, April 09

Museum to host reception celebrating gifted Mary Hancock Memorial Quilt

Sedona Heritage Museum will host a reception to celebrate the creation, and acceptance as a gift, a quilt made in memory of Sedona pioneer, Mary Hancock. The reception is set for Saturday, March 31, at 3:30 p.m. at the museum. It is free and open to the public.

Mary passed away in 2005, and longtime friends Frances Adams and Ellie Daisley fell heir to some of Mary's "Mary Dresses" as keepsakes. Upon hearing this, quilter Margaret Traxler recruited fellow quilter Eunice Hill and the idea to make a quilt from these old dresses was born.

Frances and Ellie photographed Mary and the ranch extensively before she died. Margaret and Eunice visited the Hancock Ranch to capture its and Mary's essence. The four agree that their inspiration for the quilt came from their love of Mary and their wish to honor her and keep her memory alive. 

Eunice designed the quilt and she and Margaret spent hours making this remarkable portrait of Mary Hancock and the Hancock Ranch. The quilt design shows Mary on the ranch surrounded by her vegetable and flower gardens and her eclectic rock garden and collections.

The story behind the "Mary Dresses" is that Hancock made all of her clothing. Most of her dresses were calico cotton of two similar patterns and occasional lace trim -- some that Mary tatted herself. In her later years Mary decided to make a closet full of her dresses because she was concerned that one day she may not be able to sew. 

Bits of these dresses were incorporated into this memorial quilt. Her dresses became iconic for those who knew and visited her.

The quilt was first displayed at the recent annual Quilt Show at the Sedona Public Library. Mary's friends decided to gift the quilt to the Sedona Historical Society for its collection. A slide show of the Hancock Ranch and family history has been created that will be available for viewing during the event.  After a brief presentation, there will be time for conversation and refreshments.

The Society Historical Society operates the Sedona Heritage Museum on the Jordan Farmstead at 735 Jordan Road in Uptown Sedona. For more information, call 282-7038.

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