Women have historically played an important role in social causes and family life Quilts tell much of that history. The 25th Annual Rotary Club Antique Quilt Show and Vendor Mall features a collection of signature quilts representing 150 years of quilt making with work ranging from the 1840s to the 1990s.

Thousands of signatures of women who gathered together to make quilts for various occasions adorn these representations of history.

“Some of the quilts in this collection have hundreds of signatures on them - made for weddings, farewells, to raise money for churches and different societal reasons,” says Sue Reich, the curator of Signature Quilts. “They represent women gathering together for quilt making.”

As early as the 1830s women began signing their quilts, however there is debate as to what led them to do that.

“Some theories involve the invention of stable inks, women's enthusiasm for petitioning, their involvement in fundraising and in the Temperance and Suffrage movements,” said Reich.

The Rotary Antique Quilt Show will be open Tuesday, April 23 through Friday, April 26, 9 AM-6 PM and Saturday, April 27, 9 AM-4 PM at the Robert Cherry Civic Center, 2701 Park Avenue. Reich will offer gallery tour interpretive presentations April 23-26 at 10 AM and 3 PM and April 27 at 1 PM. A $5 one-time fee is good for multi-day admission to the show and vendor mall.

Reich will also host a lecture, His or Her Name Engraved on a Patch, about the history and significance of Signature Quilts on Wednesday, April 24 at 8 AM in the Eisenhower Room at the Julian Carroll Convention Center.

For more information, visit Paducahrotary.org.