Threads of the Past: Living history in Old Town.

These beautiful quilts are on public display at Threads of the Past, in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
These beautiful quilts are on public display at Threads of the Past, in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

I recently visited Threads of the Past, a living history exhibition in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Not only did I see a number of beautiful quilts, but I learned about spinning and weaving. I was even able to watch a skilled artisan work an old-fashioned loom!

Here are some fascinating photos that I took inside Threads of the Past. I know very little about weaving and needlework, so I’m afraid I can’t provide much commentary. I do know that I really enjoyed looking at all the colors and patterns. I also learned a bit about San Diego’s past from the friendly members of Old Town’s Historic Quilt Guild and Fiber Arts Guilds. They’re keeping history alive! With great skill, they have produced beautiful textile artwork that visitors to Old Town can appreciate with their own eyes!

Threads of the Past is located near San Diego’s first courthouse.  You can find it among the many other museums and historical attractions in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

Should you visit San Diego's Old Town, look for this sign outside the Threads of the Past living history activity center.
Should you visit San Diego’s Old Town, look for this sign outside the Threads of the Past living history activity center.
Shelves full of colorful fabric woven with geometric patterns.
Shelves full of colorful fabric woven with geometric patterns.
Two quilts on one wall greet visitors as they enter Threads of the Past. On the left is a modern version of the 1850s Juana Machado Quilt.
Two quilts on one wall greet visitors as they enter Threads of the Past. On the left is a modern version of the 1850s Juana Machado Quilt.
According to family lore, this applique quilt was made by Juana Machado in the 1850s. Juana was born in 1814 to a soldier of the San Diego Presidio and his wife.
According to family lore, this applique quilt was made by Juana Machado in the 1850s. Juana was born in 1814 to a soldier of the San Diego Presidio and his wife.
Threads of the Past contains several small looms and a variety of educational displays.
Threads of the Past contains several small looms and a variety of educational displays.
Some colorful fabric circles arranged on a table.
Some colorful fabric circles arranged on a table.
As you can see, this Inkle Loom is quite narrow. It's used to make woven bands for belts and straps.
As you can see, this Inkle Loom is quite narrow. It’s used to make woven bands for belts and straps.
A wood Colonial Loom on display in Threads of the Past.
A rather simple wood Colonial Loom on display in Threads of the Past.
One display explains shearing sheep for wool, then carding, combing, and spinning wool.
One display explains shearing sheep for wool, then carding, combing, and spinning wool.
Several hand carders. Carding is gently spreading washed and dried wool in preparation for future processing, like spinning.
Several hand carders. Carding is gently spreading washed and dried wool in preparation for future processing, like spinning.
All sorts of very colorful threads!
All sorts of very colorful threads!
A demonstration of an old-fashioned hand loom at Threads of the Past, in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
A living demonstration of an old-fashioned hand loom at Threads of the Past, in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

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Published by

Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

6 thoughts on “Threads of the Past: Living history in Old Town.”

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