Day Workers Share Stories through Quilts at History Museum’s J. Gilbert Smith House

By February 1, 2018Press Releases

LOS ALTOS, CA (February 1, 2018)–The Los Altos History Museum and Day Worker Center of Mountain View are excited to announce a partnership to bring “Traveling Stitches: Quilts Made At The Day Worker Center of Mountain View to the J. Gilbert Smith House, February 15 to April 29, 2018. The exhibition was directed by curator Naomi Zamir, a volunteer at the Center.

Involving a hundred and forty men and women since it began in September 2010, this project invited individuals at the Day Worker Center to create quilt blocks as part of their English language-learning program. Each block was made by a student to express what was on his or her mind and the concept was then presented to the group in English.

The Day Worker Center is a non-profit organization that has been helping day workers connect with employers in the region for over 17 years. It also provides a wide array of classes that help to increase the skills workers need to find dignified work in their community.

Curator Naomi Zamir, who has a background in the arts and education, transformed the blocks into seven quilts after witnessing the transformative effect sharing these vignettes had on the participants. She noted, “the format of a quilt was the best choice for representing the images and describing the workers’ experience. The squares depict the stories, memories, dreams, ideas and hopes of the day workers.”

Dr. Elisabeth Ward, Executive Director of the Los Altos History Museum, stated: “Displaying these unique and personal quilts at the J. Gilbert Smith House highlights the long history of migratory workers in this area, stretching back to the agricultural days of the region. We are honored and excited by this partnership that brings attention to the many hands that make our community thrive.”

The quilts will be on display from February 15 to April 29, 2018 and an opening reception will be held at the Smith House on Sunday, February 18, from 2-4pm. Additional programming for this exhibition will include a discussion panel on Immigration in California on March 22, 2018 at 7pm at the Los Altos Youth Center.

The Los Altos History Museum began in 1977 with the opening of the J. Gilbert Smith House historic farmhouse, built in 1905. In 2001, the Los Altos History Museum opened its modern building next door, which houses the Museum’s collectionspermanent and changing exhibits, store and administrative offices. The Museum and its grounds are available for rent during evenings and weekends. Its collections are owned by the City of Los Altos and are managed by an independent nonprofit organization, whose staff and volunteers are responsible for all programs and operations.

The Museum and J. Gilbert Smith House are open Thursday through Sunday, from noon-4pm. Admission is free. The gardens, outdoor agricultural exhibits and picnic area are accessible beyond Museum hours. For more information, go to:, email, or phone 650.948.9427 x14.

Media Contact:

Los Altos History Museum: Elisabeth I. Ward, 650.948.9427 x10,