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The National Quilt Museum in Paducah

The National Quilt Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in quilts or art. The collection of quilts on display is truly astounding, and the rotating exhibits provide a never-ending supply of new and interesting quilts to see. If you’re ever in Paducah, Kentucky, be sure to check out the National Quilt Museum!

National Quilt Museum collage.

If you think quilting has become a lost art, then I have some news for you. Quilting is alive and well, not only in the United States but around the world.

Fortunately for us, we don’t have to pull out our passports in order to view quilts from around the world.  No, all we have to do is head to Paducah, Kentucky to see one of the world’s best collections of contemporary quilts at The National Quilt Museum. It’s truly an art museum of quilts.

National Quilt Museum Building.
The National Quilt Museum (Photo Courtesy of The National Quilt Museum)

Thanks to the generosity of Paducah residents Bill and Meredith Schroeder, the $2.2 million facility, the largest in the world dedicated to honoring the work of today’s quilter, opened in 1991.

The William and Meredith Schroeder Gallery inside of the Quilt Museum.

The National Quilt Museum opened its doors with only 85 quilts on loan.  Today, the museum has over 500 quilts among its quilt exhibits.

Port of Cassis quilt.
Port of Cassis by Lenore Crawford, Midland, Michigan

Quilts that are not currently on display at the museum are carefully packed in acid-free paper and kept in a humidity-controlled environment to preserve them.  

The exhibits change 8 – 10 times yearly, so it is likely that what you see today at The National Quilt Museum will not be what you see on your next visit.

Old English quilt.
After Hadrian by Sue McCarty

Quilting has been a form of art for centuries.  It has allowed the quilter to express herself (or himself) in unique ways.

Sequioa Duckpond quilt.
Sequoia Duckpond by Pat Durbin

Over 115,000 people visit The National Quilt Museum annually.  

Bird Quilt.
Sun-Bathing Blue Tit by Inge Mardal

The National Quilt Museum hosts an annual competition:  New Quilts From an Old Favorite.  In it, quilters take a traditional pattern or symbol and incorporate it into their quilt.

Rumors quilt.
Rumors and Hard Times by Susan Shie
Welkom Nederland quilt.
Welkom Nederland by Tere D’Amato

To qualify as a quilt, there have to be two layers (a top and bottom) and batting in the middle.  One exception, though, is a wooden quilt that is on display at the museum.

Wooden quilt.
“Floating”  A Wooden Quilt by Fraser Smith
Side view of wooden quilt.

The National Quilt Museum offers adult workshops, youth quilt camps for kids ages 7 – 17, as wells as a Junior Quilters & Textile Artists Club, and scout opportunities.  

They also have a School Block Challenge – an annual quilt block competition and exhibit, sponsored by Moda Fabrics, for children in grades K-12 nationwide.

Janome sewing machines.

The museum has a gift shop with mementos available for purchase.

Quilt Museum Gift Shop.

Time your visit just right and you may get to meet some of the country’s finest quilters, such as George and Virginia Siciliano.

George Siciliano and quilts.

Hours

The National Quilt Museum is open 7 days a week. The hours are Monday – Saturday from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm year-round.

The museum is open Sundays from March 1 until November 30 from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

The museum is closed on Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

Ticket Prices

Tickets cost $12 for adults, $11 for those ages 62 and older as well as military personnel, $5 for students, and children 12 and younger are admitted free of charge.

Location

The National Quilt Museum is located at 215 Jefferson Street in Paducah, Kentucky.

Map of Paducah, Kentucky.

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