Cozy Winter Warmth at the P. J. Ahern Home


It may be chilly outside, but it’s warm and comfy at the P. J. Ahern Home. Join the Texarkana Museums System for a special exhibit of quilts, coats, and more, on exhibit now through February 2021. Tours times are 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Admission is $5 per person. For more information, visit us on Facebook or call 903-793-4831.

The holiday season is a time for nostalgia and winter memories often include items that invoice a sense of warmth and comfort. This special winter textile exhibit will feature quilts and clothing donated by area families dating back to the 19th century.

TMS Winter Textiles Exhibit – Dresden Plate Quilt

“One of my favorite pieces in our textile collection is a crazy quilt from the 1890s,” says TMS Curator, Jamie Simmons. “It was hand stitched by the grandmother of the donor, Carol Letterman, on those long winter evenings when it was too cold to go out.”

“Crazy” quilts are made from scraps of fine fabrics left over from other sewing projects. Even scraps of silks, velvets, and satins were too expensive to simply throw away, so they were kept until enough pieces had been accumulated to create quilt blocks. Each scrap was applied randomly, hence the term “crazy.” A variety of traditional pieced quilt designs will be featured and many are personalized with fine embroidery.

TMS Winter Textiles Exhibit – 1880’s Winter Capes

In addition to a selection of quilts from the collections, the exhibit will include a collection of winter wear dating back to the 1880s. Men’s, women’s, and children’s winter coats will be included. There are flocked velvet bustle jackets, silk-lined gentlemen’s overcoats, and flannel opera capes alongside quilted bonnets and fur muffs.

“The coats range from the utilitarian to the ornate,” added Simmons. “One of the bustle coats is part of a wedding ensemble worn by Jessie Cook Arnold at her winter wedding in October 1880.”

TMS Winter Textiles Exhibit
TMS Winter Textiles Exhibit – Quilted Coats and Hat 1890’s
TMS Winter Textiles Exhibit – Closeup of 1891 Crazy Quilt

These items and more are on display now as part of the regular tour of the P. J. Ahern Home, 403 Laurel Street, Texarkana, USA. The exhibit is open through February 28, 2021. Admission is $5 per person or free to members of the Texarkana Museums System. For more information or for a schedule of upcoming events, please visit us on Facebook.

The Texarkana Museums System’s P. J. Ahern Home is1905 Classical Revival mansion located in the heart of the Quality Hill Historic District in Downtown Texarkana, Arkansas. The Ahern Home is a designated National Register landmark that hosts programs, exhibits, and community events every fourth weekend of the month. For more information about this or future events or for tour times, call 903-793-4831, visit our website at, or email

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