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 modern day quilts at The National Quilt Museum.
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 National Quilt Museum opened its doors with only 85 quilts on loan. Today, the museum has over 500 quilts in its collection.
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.
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.
Sequoia Duckpond by Pat Durbin
Over 115,000 people visit The National Quilt Museum annually.
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 and Hard Times by Susan Shie
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.
"Floating" A Wooden Quilt by Fraser Smith
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 grades K-12 nationwide.
The museum has a gift shop with mementos available for purchase.
Time your visit just right and you may get to meet some of the country's finest quilters, such as George and Virginia Siciliano.
The National Quilt Museum is open 7 days a week:
- Monday - Saturday 10 am to 5 pm All-Year
- Also open Sundays March 1 - November 30 from 1 pm to 5 pm.
- Closed: Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Day.