On a regular visit to the N.C. Museum of History, the quilt in the Civil War section of the downtown Raleigh's major North Carolina exhibit wouldn't have gotten much more than a notice.
My kids would have flitted from one interactive exhibit - the cow to milk, for instance - to another - the mock textile mill to experience.
Instead, last Thursday, my three-year-old and I sat down right in front of the quilt during the museum's new weekly storytime. It meets at 10 a.m., Thursdays. They began this summer.
The 20-minute activity, which requires no pre-registration or sign up and is free, is designed primarily for preschoolers and young grader schoolers. We met Emily Grant, the museum's youth programs coordinator, in the lobby. And, from there, she led our group of four kids and their parents to the quilt. Destination: N.C. Museum of History storytime
Grant told us a bit about it. The quilt was made by a mother whose sons were soldiers and died. The quilt was made from pieces of their clothing. She pulled out some examples of quilts that the kids could touch and look at more closely.
Then, she read "The Quilt Story," by Tony Johnston and illustrated by Tomie dePaola. It tells the story of a quilt and the comfort it provides over generations. At the end, she had some quilt puzzles that the kids took apart and put back together.
Past storytimes have focused on basketball in the museum's sports hall of fame and Blackbeard in the pirates section of the museum. Grant is working on offering one about flying machines in the future, among other topics.
"Each week, we choose a different object that speaks to us as staff and we think will connect with kids," Grant tells me.
With all that there is to see at the museum, there's plenty to feature.
Watch my video interview with Grant to hear more about the storytimes and see a couple of scenes.
The museum is at 5 E. Edenton St. in downtown Raleigh. Admission is free.