Quilts have played an important role in the lives of African-Americans. During slavery, most blacks were unable to read or write, so quilts became a message board of sorts. The slaves stitched together cast-off bits of fabric using symbols and colors as coded messages. Quilts hung out to dry were a common sight; no one would suspect that they were actually a method of communication. The Gregory School at the Houston Public Library is hosting an exhibit called ''Every Day Use: The Origins of African-American Quilt Making'' featuring the works of contemporary quilt makers who continue the practice of sewing in traditional design handed down since the time before the Civil War. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Through January 12. Houston Public Library Gregory School, 1300 Victor Street. For information, call 832-393-1440 or visit www.thegregoryschool.org. Free.
Mondays-Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays. Starts: Nov. 26. Continues through Jan. 12, 2011