World’s largest historical quilt getting a home

Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 4:57 PM CDT
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ANTLER, N.D. (KMOT) - The population of Antler, North Dakota, is only 26, but this tiny town has something no other city or metropolitan area has — the world’s largest historic quilt.

Next year, this material marvel could be on display for all the world to see bringing hundreds of visitors to this rural community.

This gigantic, bulky blanket has been under wraps since 2003, waiting for a permanent home.

The quilt is 134 by 84 feet, and up until now, too large to be in any indoor facility.

Derek Tennyson is the youngest grandson of Leona Tennyson, who created the quilt in 1989 along with hundreds of quilters across the state for North Dakota’s centennial celebration.

“They would have stitch parties, and they’d be over there putting everything together mostly through all the afternoon, and just be sewing on the quilt,” said Derek.

His grandmother didn’t want the quilt separated, so it stayed in storage waiting for a home, like the First National Bank of Antler located on the town square.

“There’s no way to display it in its entirety, but we want to find a way that we can fold it or display it here,” said Mark Jorgensen, board member of Antler Historical Society.

This building needs a lot of work before it’s ready to show off the pieces of history.

“Just the windows - no labor - is $90,000, so that’s probably going to be our single biggest expense,” said Jorgensen.

Derek said he’s happy his grandmother’s pride and joy is coming home.

“So when the opportunity came up and the building is getting all refinished, we thought it’d be a good place to be right back where it was assembled,” said Derek.

The bank renovation project is going to cost around $300,000 and the Antler Historical Society is trying to raise half that money in order to get matching grants.

You can find out more about the quilt or donate on their website: Renovation Fundraiser