Ruth, who is not a quilter, often tells the story of the bug quilt. Her friend Sue created award-winning quilts and decided to make a special one for each of her nieces and nephews. She considered their main interest and used that for the quilt’s theme. One of her niece’s chief interest was entomology.
On our way back to the Northwest between Omaha and Lincoln, Ruth was driving and I was looking at upcoming local attractions. “There’s something called the International Quilt Study Center & Museum on one of the University of Nebraska’s campuses in Lincoln,” I noted. “I had no idea such a place existed,”Ruth said. “Let’s check it out.” It turned out to be both a 5 Compass facility and a major allurement tied to a hobby of American origin.
In an innovative glass and brick 2008 building that suggests the 3 layers of a quilt, the International Quilt Study Center and Museum (IQSC&M) is home to the world’s largest publicly-owned collection of quilts. It’s holdings are so vast that they span 4 centuries, represent 50 countries, and come from 6 continents. Hardly a week goes by that new quilts aren’t added to the 4,500+ already in its huge storage facility. None of them are on permanent display. IQSC&M, instead, incorporates some of them into almost every show it creates.
Ruth and I saw several: Quilts of Southwest China, Mountain Mist, Favorites from the Dillow Collection, etc. Amish Quilts is coming October 7. By the time you visit, probably none of the quilts we saw will be out. Light is their enemy. The oldest quilt in the collection was made in 1796 by Anna Ruggles in Gloucestershire, England. Its most famous & valuable quilt is a Civil War Era “Reconciliation Quilt”.
The 2 Quilts shown above and below were my favorites. Above is Sara Rhodes Dillow’s “Sunshine in the Garden”. She sewed it in 2006. Below is Sheila Frampton Cooper’s 2013 “Lair of the Amethyst Den”. Its description says it was “free-motion quilted”. Indeed.