Dear Friends,

Storytelling with textiles is a unique blend of art and culture. From technique-specific maker journeys such as the Milwaukee Art Quilters ‘Yo-Yo Challenge’ to broader cultural storytelling seen in The Migrant Quilt Project’s exhibit, Los Desconocidos/The Unknowns at the International Quilt Study Center in Lincoln, Nebraska; quilts are a unique artifact of American life.

Quilts are beautiful; they remind us of comfort, home and special people. They are living organisms which can be viewed in a two-dimensional plane, but whose mission is to be used in a three-dimensional life. Not to be irreverent, but quilts bridge MoMA and grandma.

The quilter population is surprisingly diverse although the upper end of the age and education spectrum accounts for a significant percentage of the audience. While honoring the past, these special places will invite new people to tell new stories about how they live their lives.  

The research for this blog post was captivating. Each museum’s story is unique and specific to their place yet fits into the bigger picture of quilts in America. If you can’t make it to all of them, please take a web tour through their websites. You’ll be inspired!

The list below represents a snapshot of each museum. Sorted by region, it’s meant to give you an overview of the personality of how each place views their mission within the broader quilt and textile world and how they want to share their story. If you are interested in their current exhibits click on their links in this story or click here to see the Midwest Happenings! calendar on this website. (Midwest Fiber Arts Trails calendar only features what’s happening in Midwestern states.)

I hope you explore some of these travel options. If you’ve ever volunteered, you know how much it means when visitors walk through the door! Please contact each museum for info, hours, exhibits and other activities.

Go, explore!

Jenny

Midwest

Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts

The Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts, located just east of historic downtown Cedarburg, Wisconsin, is dedicated to educating the public about the artistic, cultural, historic and social importance of quilts and fiber arts. We also seek to increase the awareness of historic structure preservation.

The Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts offers lectures and classes for all adults, beginner to advanced. These learning experiences are led by a variety of teachers from all over the world. WMQFA also offers events, workshops, and tours for schools and youth. With over 2,300 square feet of new classrooms and multi-purpose space, we have ample room to serve school groups, youth organizations, and families with programs linked to fiber arts.

The Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts is the only museum devoted to the creation, education and preservation of time-honored fiber arts in Wisconsin. In 2011, we restored our 1850’s barn for use as an exhibition gallery, classrooms, collections storage and general purpose. Visit us at one of our upcoming events!

Links:

Website: https://www.wiquiltmuseum.com/
Email: info@wiquiltmuseum.com
Phone: (262)-546-0300

Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts

N50 W5050 Portland Rd. Cedarburg, WI

Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts

International Quilt Study Center & Museum

The International Quilt Study Center & Museum is a leader in the growing field of quilt studies. Research focused on quilts illuminates the complex ways gender, class, ethnicity, aesthetics, politics, religion and technology find expression in the textile arts, quiltmaking traditions, design and culture.

We envision the IQSCM as a dynamic center of formal and informal learning and discovery for students, teachers, scholars, artists, quilters and others. Our comprehensive and accessible collection of quilts, related textiles and documents form a primary text for study, insight and inspiration. IQSCM is an academic program of the Department of Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design in the College of Education and Human Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The department offers a unique masters degree in Textile History with a quilt studies emphasis, which is the only program of its kind in the world.

Links:

Website: https://www.quiltstudy.org/
Email: info@quiltstudy.org
Phone: (402)-472-6549

International Quilt Study Center & Museum

1523 N. 33rd St. Lincoln, NE

International Quilt Study Center & Museum

Kalona Quilt & Textile Museum

Friendly, knowledgeable staff members are eager to answer your questions and direct you to the exhibits you’re most interested in. Perhaps your first stop will be the quilt galleries in the Welcome Center. There you will see the vibrant colors and patterns of Amish quilts. At the English Quilt Gallery, you’ll find the traditional patterns and exquisite hand quilting from the late 1800s to early 1900s.

Note to readers: In 2014 I visited KQTM and participated in an Iowa-Illinois Quilt Study Group meeting. I was treated to an amazing tour by Marilyn Woodin, who started the collection many years ago. The Mennonite Gallery and the English Gallery are still in full swing with quarterly exhibit changes. The current website makes it hard to find the info, but the quilts are still there! Here’s my blog post. https://midwestfiberartstrails.org/summer-road-trip-option-2a-quilts-kalona-quilt-textile-museum/

Links:

Website: https://kalonaiowa.org/map/welcome-center/
Email:  kalonatours@kctc.net
Phone: (319)-656-3232

Kalona Quilt & Textile Museum

715 D Avenue Kalona, IA

Kalona Quilt & Textile Museum

Iowa Quilt Museum

“When I was a student in a beginning quilting class at the ISU Extension office on the Winterset square, I never dreamed that one day I’d be helping establish a quilt museum on a different side of the same town square.

Liz Porter and I were in our twenties and mothers of small children when we met in that beginners’ class. We learned the rudiments of simple patchwork and hand quilting in the four-week course. Soon, we were teaching classes in Winterset ourselves—at the Methodist Church, the Art Center, and, eventually, the Ben Franklin store, also on the town square.

Teaching locally led to writing quilting books, which led to teaching around the state, then around the country, and abroad. Always looking for ways to keep our free-lance careers afloat, we wrote more books, designed fabrics, lectured and judged at quilt shows, got ourselves on public television, and eventually became owners and editors of the largest-circulated quilting magazine, Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting, in America. We’re both retired, now, but we both still enjoy making quilts as much as we did as young moms in the 1970s. The tools and fabrics are definitely better these days!” — Marianne Fons

Links:

Website: http://iowaquiltmuseum.org/
Email: director@iowaquiltmuseum.org
Phone: (515)-462-5988

Iowa Quilt Museum

68 E Court St Winterset, IA

Iowa Quilt Museum

Missouri Quilt Museum – OPENS FALL, 2019

The original Hamilton High School, built in 1903, is under new ownership (August 2018) and we are bringing it back to life! Although it’s only been 9 years since its closure, a large remodel is necessary for it to reach its potential.

​Our goal is to create the largest Quilt Museum in the United States. As the official state museum, Missouri Quilt Museum will host quilting exhibits from local artists as well as top designers from around the world. We will also include exhibits of antique sewing machines, vintage buttons, antique toy sewing machines, thimbles, and lots of other sewing memorabilia! A very special exhibit dedicated to Hamilton, the local residents, and the school itself will be a wonderful representation of where we came from and the rich history of Hamilton, Missouri.

Links:

Website: https://www.missouriquiltmuseum.com/
Email: info@missouriquiltmuseum.org
Phone: (435) 849-2564

Missouri Quilt Museum

300 East Bird St, Hamilton, MO

Missouri Quilt Museum

Quilter’s Hall of Fame

The mission of The Quilters Hall of Fame is to celebrate quilting as an art form, by honoring the lives and accomplishments of those people who have made outstanding contributions to the world of quilting; by restoration and preservation of the home of quilt designer Marie D. Webster in Marion, Indiana; by promoting educational programs, exhibitions, publications and research; and by collecting, preserving and documenting materials related to the Honorees of The Quilters Hall of Fame.

Links:

Website: https://quiltershalloffame.net/
Email: admin@quiltershalloffame.net
Phone: (765) 664-9333

Quilter's Hall of Fame

926 S Washington Street Marion, Indiana

Quilter's Hall of Fame

West

Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum

The mission of the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum is to collect, preserve, exhibit and educate the public about quilts; honor quilt making traditions; and embrace the evolution of the art and craft of quilting.

Links:

Website: https://www.rmqm.org/
Email: rmqm@rmqm.org
Phone: (303) 215-9001

Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum

200 Violet Street Unit #140 Golden, CO

Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum

San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles

At San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, our mission is to promote and celebrate the art, creators, craft and history of quilts and textiles. We are dedicated to showcasing the most cutting edge quilts and fiber art, while honoring our textile traditions.

The Museum is the nexus for fiber artists, art lovers, collectors, quilters, and crafters who share a passion for fiber art and a deep commitment to its preservation and evolution.

The range of works we display is reflected in our annual exhibition calendar, which change every 6 – 12 weeks. We hope to see you throughout the year!

Links:

Website: https://www.sjquiltmuseum.org/
Email: https://www.sjquiltmuseum.org/contact
Phone:(408) 971-0323

San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles

520 S. FIRST STREET, SAN JOSE, CA 95113

San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles

Pacific Northwest Quilts & Fiber Arts

The mission of the Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum is to present exhibitions and educational programs in all fiber arts that enrich and inspire, honor cultural traditions, and celebrate the creative spirit.

Our collection focuses on the textiles of the Pacific Rim that both exemplify tradition and reflect contemporary trends. The collection will serve both exhibition and educational purposes, and ensure its preservation for future artists, enthusiasts, and students.

Links:

Website: https://www.qfamuseum.org/
Email: info@qfamuseum.org
Phone: (360) 466-4288 x 201

Pacific Northwest Quilts & Fiber Arts

112 Morris Street La Conner WA

Pacific Northwest Quilts & Fiber Arts Museum

Latimer Quilt and Textile Center

The Latimer Quilt & Textile Center is a vibrant, living, working museum whose mission is to preserve, promote, display and facilitate the creation of and provide education about the textile arts.

Located in beautiful Tillamook, Oregon, the Latimer Quilt & Textile Center offers bi-monthly exhibits featuring vintage textiles or contemporary fiber and textile art by local and nationally recognized artists. We have a research library for on-site use, a gift shop full of handcrafted items, books, yarn and vintage fabrics.

Links:

Website: https://www.latimerquiltandtextile.com/
Email: latimertextile@centurylink.net
Phone: (503) 842-8622

Latimer Quilt and Textile Center

2105 Wilson River Loop Tillamook, OR

Latimer Quilt and Textile Center

Kona Hawaiian Quilt Museum

Our mission is threefold: To collect and display vintage and contemporary Hawaiian style quilts, provide educational opportunities for all ages in the art and culture of Hawaiian quilting, and facilitate preservation and conservation of Hawaiian quilts.

After two years of planning and development, the Kona Hawaiian Quilt Museum and Gallery opened its doors in June 2018. As the only museum in Hawaii to focus exclusively on the art and culture of Hawaiian quilting, we are off to a great start!

Links:

Website: https://www.konahqm.org/
Email: konahqm@yahoo.com
Phone: (808)331-2958

Kona Hawaiian Quilt Museum

75-5706 Kuakini Hwy., Ste. 112 Kailua Kona, HI

Kona Hawaiian Quilt Museum

South

The National Quilt Museum

The National Quilt Museum continues to support quilters and advance the art of quilting by displaying exceptional quilt and fiber art exhibits, providing workshops and other educational opportunities, and promoting the art of quilting. We are honored to play a significant role in both the quilting community and the art community as a whole since our founding. As the museum has grown in popularity, its educational programs have also expanded rapidly.

The museum changes exhibits 8-10 times per year, so visitors will enjoy a unique experience every time they visit.

Links:

Website: https://quiltmuseum.org/
Email: info@quiltmuseum.org
Phone: (270)-442-8856

The National Quilt Museum

215 Jefferson Street Paducah, KY

The National Quilt Museum

Virginia Quilt Museum

Founded in 1995, The Virginia Quilt Museum is the Official Quilt Museum of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Nestled in the heart of the picturesque Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, the Museum promotes a unique blend of Virginia’s art and cultural heritage. Charged with a mission of “celebrating and nurturing Virginia’s quilting heritage,” the Museum offers three floors of rotating, curated gallery space. Each round of exhibits features quilts from the Museum’s collection as well as traveling exhibitions. Heirloom quilts, contemporary quilts and art quilts are also typically featured simultaneously, allowing our visitors the chance to marvel at the extreme variety of styles, techniques, and themes present in quilts.

Links:

Website: http://www.vaquiltmuseum.org/
Email: info@vaquiltmuseum.org
Phone: (540)-433-3818

Virginia Quilt Museum

301 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA

Virginia Quilt Museum

Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts

The Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts was founded in 1977 by dynamic Haywood County extension agent Mary Cornwell. Mary’s vision was to establish a repository at the historic Shelton House to preserve and display traditional crafts created by the state’s most renowned artisans as well as the Shelton family collection of Southwest Native American artifacts.

Today, The Shelton House is a Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Site, home to collections showcasing Appalachian agricultural living, Cherokee and Native American crafts, and North Carolina handicrafts. It was the first building in Haywood County to be recognized on the National Register of Historic Places and also provides insights to Western North Carolina’s Revolutionary War and Civil War History.

The Shelton House has a huge collection of quilts, coverlets, and other handicrafts. Our quilt collection alone includes items from [possibly] 1805 to 2012. In the Quilt Room, you’ll find a 1876 dressmaker’s pattern for cutting dresses, a 1872 Wheeler Wilson sewing machine, and a great display of hand sewn, woven, crocheted, tatted, and other hand crafted items . In the Shelton House bedroom is a quilt made in 1853 by a 12-year old girl.

Links:

Website: https://sheltonhouse.org/wnc-heritage-crafts/
Email: info@sheltonhouse.org
Phone: (828)-452-1551

Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts

49 Shelton Street Waynesville NC

Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts

Southeastern Quilt & Textile Museum

As our name proclaims, the Southeastern Quilt and Textile Museum wants to recognize and celebrate our regional and local heritage and influences. Throughout the southeast many communities developed with a similar story of textile production. We want to share that heritage by highlighting our own history.

The QUILT aspect of our mission creates a triangle: to preserve, to teach, and to recognize and celebrate current quilting trends.

The Museum strives to preserve the art and craft of quilting with museum quality archiving and conservation. Informative exhibits change quarterly. A research library provides over 2500 volumes currently as well as many periodicals.

The Museum teaches the art and craft of quilting in Beginners Classes, Intermediate, and Advanced Classes. Every summer a Kids Camp teaches third grade and older children to sew and to quilt by using individual mentors for each student. They learn to operate a sewing machine, hand sew, cut patterns, design, and quilt.

The third component of the triangle is to recognize and celebrate current trends in quilting. From exhibits on machine appliqué to art quilts to modern interpretations of old patterns, many exciting trends are happening in the world of quilting.

In TEXTILES we not only tell a history. We also feature current artists in our exhibits. When you visit we trust you can see our path toward fulfilling this mission.

Links:

Website: https://www.southeasternquiltandtextilemuseum.org/
Email: Southeasternquilt@gmail.com
Phone: (770) – 301-2187

Southeastern Quilt & Textile Museum

306 Bradley Street Carrollton, GA

Southeastern Quilt & Textile Museum

Texas Quilt Museum

The Texas Quilt Museum was a dream and a goal for decades. As its founders brought thousands of great quilts to International Quilt Festival in Houston each year since 1974, they realized many people were unable to see them because they were on view a relatively short time. They wanted a place where even more people could discover and appreciate quilts as art in a setting that showcased them for longer periods.

It is housed in two historic 1890s buildings, which provide a fine showcase for both antique and contemporary quilt art with their high ceilings, brick walls, and original hardwood floors.

In La Grange, a small town in the rolling hills of Central Texas, they discovered a wonderful 19th century building that had lost its luster over time. Over two years, with the help of skilled artisans guided by an architect well-known for re-purposing historically significant buildings, that luster has been restored. During the process, an allied building was acquired, increasing exhibition space to more than 10,000 square feet in three galleries.

Links:

Website: http://www.texasquiltmuseum.org/index.html
Email: projects@texasquiltmuseum.org
Phone: (979) – 968-3104

Texas Quilt Museum

140 W Colorado Street La Grange, Texas

Texas Quilt Museum

East

New England Quilt Museum

“The New England Quilt Museum is one of the region’s most treasured institutions. For many dedicated quiltmakers, the Museum is a pilgrimage. For everyone inspired by the beauty and universality of textile arts, the Museum is a retreat. For those who value the power of art to connect people, the Museum is a tolerant space in a divided world.

Whatever brings you here—your experience makes our work more meaningful. We invite you to visit often and engage deeply in a centuries-old art that continues to evolve and flourish.”
— Nora Palermo Burchfield – Executive Director

Links:

Website: https://www.neqm.org/
Email: questions@nequiltmuseum.org
Phone: (978)-452-4207

New England Quilt Museum

18 Shattuck Street, Lowell, MA

New England Quilt Museum

The George Washington University Textile Museum

The Textile Museum was established in 1925 by collector and connoisseur George Hewitt Myers to expand public knowledge and appreciation—locally, nationally, and internationally—of the artistic merits and cultural importance of the world’s textiles through scholarship, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Today, its collections of more than 20,000 textiles and related objects represent five millennia and five continents, including cultures from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and the indigenous peoples of the Americas. The 20,000-volume Arthur D. Jenkins Library of Textile Arts is one of the world’s foremost resources for the study of textiles. Scroll through the galleries below to learn more about The Textile Museum collections.

Links:

Website: https://museum.gwu.edu/textile-museum
Email: museuminfo@gwu.edu
Phone: (330) 672-3450

The George Washington University Textile Museum

701 21st Street, NW Washington, DC

George Washington University Textile Museum

Quilts at State Museum of Pennsylvania

The museum’s collection of quilts and related textiles is the result of the generosity of donors and the farsightedness of curators who shared their sentiment. Begun in 1924 with the accession of a pair of pieced pillowcases, the collection now includes almost two hundred pieces with many styles and techniques of American quiltmaking represented.

The quilts date from about 1800 to the present. Since quiltmaking is such an important Pennsylvania craft, it is fitting that many of the quilts reveal a particularly Pennsylvanian sensibility. Another strength of the collection is the number and variety of crazy quilts.

Links:

Website: http://statemuseumpa.org/quilts/index.htm
Email: http://statemuseumpa.org/about/contact/
Exhibit:http://statemuseumpa.org/quilts/pages/exhibit.htm
Phone: (717) 787-4980

Quilts at State Museum of Pennsylvania

300 North Street Harrisburg, PA 17120

Quilts from the State Museum of Pennsylvania

More excellent textile places to visit

Other museums and collections to visit!

This list of folk, state, university museums and art centers aren’t specifically quilt museums, but they actively promote quilting, may have quilt collections and exhibits from time to time.

Textile Center in Minneapolis, MN

Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, OH

Old State House Museum in LIttle Rock, AR

Michigan State University in Lansing, MI

Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, NM

Cornell University Textile Collection in Ithaca, NY

Kent State University Museum, Kent OH

The mission of Midwest Fiber Arts Trails is to honor the Midwest’s rich textile heritage and celebrate and promote the work of contemporary fiber artists.

Address: 229 Minnetonka Ave S #181 Wayzata, MN 55391 • Phone : 612.961.1601 • Email: jennifer@fiberartalmanac.com

X
%d bloggers like this: