The Omaha Quilters' Guild was given the unique opportunity to reach thousands of people each year with the beauty and magic that are quilts. We try hard every year to attract growing numbers of people to our quilt show but we don't come any near the number of people that will see our work at Boys Town.
This very special project to recreate the quilts of the boys' dormitories at Father Flanagan's Boys' Home helped us promote an appreciation of quilts and quilting that will enhance our reputation as a guild.
We replicated the types of quilts that were made by the Mothers Guilds in the 20's and 30's from loads of donated wool and cotton from our own personal collections. They were gratefully received and are on display each year during the Christmas holidays.
Comments from Thomas Lynch, Manager of the Hall of History at Boys Town
"Quilts and quilting have played an important role in the history of Boys Town.
When Father Edward Flanagan founded his revolutionary home for boys, he depended upon the support of many people from the Omaha community to survive. In the early 1920's Father Flanagan's mother Honora established the Mothers Sewing Guilds. Each week a group of ladies would meet at the Home, then located on 13th Street, to sew clothing and quilts for the boys. Eventually Mother Guilds were formed from New York to California. The quilts the ladies created constituted one of the largest quilt collections in the Midwest by the 1930's.
Today in the village of Boys Town the 1927 residence of Father Flanagan is under going a major restoration project. To celebrate the unique history of the Home several rooms are being renovated to recreate the 1920's boys dormitories. On each one of the nine metal beds quilts will be placed to replicate the originals. During the Christmas season nine holiday quilts will be placed on the beds. Each year over 30,000 visitors from across America and around the world tour the Father Flanagan House, which is a National Historic Landmark.
During the holiday season the Father Flanagan House celebrates Irish Christmas in honor of Father Flanagan's birthplace Ballymoe, County Galway, Ireland. In 2005 over 2,000 visitors from the Midwest region toured the Flanagan House during the Irish Christmas celebration.
Members of the Omaha Quilters' Guild created the quilts displayed in the Father Flanagan House museum.