Beyoutiful Blog

The National Quilt Museum

Last week I had the amazing privilege of exploring a popular museum in Kentucky, ‘The National Quilt Museum’. Ever since I started dating Clint, and visited Paducah with him, I always noticed the signs for The National Quilt Museum on our way into town. For the past 4 years I’ve been saying, “I’m going to visit that museum soon.” or “Clint, we should really go check out The Quilt Museum, I’ve never been.” Now, that I’ve moved to Paducah, I figured I couldn’t be considered a local without exploring one of the towns most popular attractions.

Right when I added it to my Paducah bucket list, I got an email from the marketing director asking if I    wanted to come tour the facility and write up a post about it.  Yes and Yes!!  Which leads us to today’s post, a look inside ‘The National Quilt Museum‘. If I’m being honest with you all, I wasn’t sure what this post or the museum was going to consist of. All my life, when I’ve thought of quilts, the ones I have in my parents basement is what comes to mind. You know, “like grandma quilts” or whatever the call them? Little did I know, that from the moment I stepped foot inside the museum, my entire outlook on quilts was about to change.

Quilting is so much more than what most of us probably think it is. Quilting is an art, a form of expression. Just seeing the ones in the gallery made me aware of how little my appreciation was for quilting. Now that I’ve learned more about it, explored this facility, and witnessed the work that goes into creating these quilts, I’m in awe. Why did I have this persona about quilts just being patchwork sewn together? I’m almost ashamed that I ever thought that.. and thank goodness I’ve opened my eyes to the work of these amazing artists. I really didn’t know what I  was missing until I saw this!

Located, in Paducah, Kentucky, The National Quilt Museum is now entering it’s 25th year of supporting quilters, advancing the art, and displaying exceptional quilt and fiber art exhibits. On the side, they also provide workshops, educational opportunities, and host a popular event, ‘Quilt Week’ (put on by the American Quilters Society).  I originally intended to do a post on Quilt Week, but that was the week Oslo got hurt and my world turned upside down.  This post falls in it’s place and hopefully by the end of it you all will have a better understanding of the museum!

Note*- In the cover photo of this post (shown above), I’m standing by this years, ‘Quilt Week Best of Show’. This quilt was called, Turkish Treasures, by Pat Holly.

As you enter the museum, located immediately on the left, is the ‘OH WOW’ exhibit. This area was one of my favorites because I just loved seeing the mini quilts! They are so cute and precious! These quilts are made to size (as any quilt would be). In order to be considered a mini quilt they must be no more than 24 inches on a side.

The next exhibit I explored was the ‘Japanese Quilt Artists Who Have Influenced the World’. In this part of the museum I found some of the most eccentric, colorful, quirky, and beautiful quilts that I’ve ever seen. Half of them didn’t even seem like quilts, but rather true works of art.

“This exclusive exhibit features quilts from 17 respected and admired Japanese quilters including Shizuko Kuroha, Keiko Goke, Reiko Washizawa, Suzuko Koseki, Yoshiko Katagiri, and others. Quilts were introduced from the U.S. to Japan around 1980, creating a boom which spread all over Japan, and now their work influences quilters around the world. This exhibition features some of the best Japanese quilts that express Japanese aesthetic senses through design, coloring, and workmanship. The exhibit curator is Naomi Ichikawa, Chief Editor of YOMIURI QUILT TIME magazine.”

The next four pictures, below, show some of my favorite ones in this exhibit. I couldn’t help but laugh at the avocado quilt! What amazing creativity!!

Can’t ya tell I really like the colorful ones!?

To end our tour, we explored ‘New Quilts from an Old Favorite’. This exhibit is a competition that gives quilters an opportunity to share their work across the country/nation.

 In the 2018 gallery, all the quilts have modified the bow tie block design in some imaginative way.

I  love this one ^! It’s like you get lost, flying with the colors.

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OH WOW!! ^ We’re back to the beginning. And hopefully you’re saying oh wow!  Some of the quilts I’ve featured in this post are spectacular, right!? Not what you imagined quilting to be like? yeah, me either!

If you are ever in Kentucky I definitely recommend checking out this museum. It’s a great way to explore an unusual way of art, and appreciate the time and effort these artists put into creating their masterpieces. I told Clint we are coming here on our next date! Since the quilts rotate in and out, he probably hasn’t seen any of them being featured now (it’s been years since he’s been). If you take a friend or love one with you to explore, you’ll get to see their reaction to these amazing pieces! That’s probably the best part.  I know I was in complete awe walking around the galleries!!! My reaction to some of them were priceless!

Huge Thank You to ‘The National Quilt Museum’ for allowing me to come in, photograph the galleries, and write up a post!

To conclude today’s post I wanted to share a couple quick facts about the museum:

  • The National Quilt Museum is the brainchild of Bill and Meredith Schroeder of Paducah, Kentucky.
  • Over the years, the Quilt Museum has grown to become a destination for quilting and fiber art enthusiasts worldwide.
  • Annually they receive visitors from all 50 US states and over 40 foreign countries, from every continent.
  • The Museum’s onsite and travelling exhibits are viewed by over 110,000 people per year. In addition, over 6,000 youth and adults participate in our educational opportunities on an annual basis.
  • The $2.2 million facility, which is the largest facility in the world dedicated to quilting, sits two blocks from the Ohio River in historic downtown Paducah.
  • The Museum changes exhibits 8-10 times per year
  • On the day the Museum opened in 1991, the entire collection included 85 quilts that were on loan from the founders
  • In addition to exhibiting the exceptional works from our collection, throughout the year the Museum also features travelling exhibits made up of breathtaking works of quilt and fiber art.

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