Block Party overview image

Block Party

  • Post Date1/2/2002
  • Reading Time2 minute read

"Attention to detail" has become a staff catch phrase as we prepare to open the new Spurlock Museum. Label text is counted to the exact number of spaces and characters. All artifact and image captions are checked for accuracy. Nowhere has attention to detail been more apparent recently, though, than in the creation of the over 400 risers and boxes that will serve as the main artifact mounts inside our display cases.

  • staff measure and cut fabric to cover each block.
    Once constructed, boxes are brought into the Museum's Exhibit Preparation area. Collections staff members carefully measure and cut fabric to cover each block.
  • measure
    To date, the Museum has used approximately 300 linear yards of fabric!

Blocks are built in-house by Collections Management staff in the Museum's workshop. Working from our exhibit designs, each block is made to fit a specific case and artifact. Next, the blocks are covered with linen. The final touch on every upholstered block is the hand stitching of each and every corner seam.

  • Boxes are then upholstered, using a light-duty staple gun. Once upholstered, all that remains to finish the block is the closing of the corner seams.
    Boxes are then upholstered, using a light-duty staple gun. Once upholstered, all that remains to finish the block is the closing of the corner seams.

Volunteers to the Rescue!

Faced with so many blocks to complete within a very short period of time, Collections staff sought assistance right away. Answering a call for help to local sewing circles, a dozen volunteers offered their stitching services. Four mornings a week, members of our "block parties" met with members of the Collections staff to talk, laugh and sew, creating pile after pile of completed blocks. Through their efforts, the boxes were completed in about 2/3 the originally projected time.

  • Stitchers use a
    "Block party" participants sew the four corner seams on each block. Stitchers use a "blind stitch" which is nearly invisible when completed. Collections staff members usually complete larger blocks.
  • boxes in stack
    With volunteers' help, over 400 blocks of widely varying sizes were completed in about 2/3 the originally projected time!

Many of these volunteers have expressed an interest in continuing to volunteer now that the "block party" project is over. Their creativity, eagerness, and dedication are greatly appreciated.