If you have been around Hobbies on a Budget very long, you know that I love quilts. For the past 6 years, I have hosted an online quilt show each February featuring some of the favorite quilts in my home and from my friends and family members. What is it about quilts that just makes people feel warm and comfortable and connects generations? Recently we had the opportunity to visit the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky. Whether you love quilts already or just appreciate the work of skilled artists, the Quilt Museum needs to be on your list!
This post includes affiliate links. Hobbies on a Budget received tickets or discounts as part of a sponsored visit to the city of Paducah. All opinions are my own. No monetary compensation was provided.
The National Quilt Museum
When you think of quilts, what comes to mind? Do you think about the quilts that your grandmother made using pieces of dresses, work shirts and flour sacks? Do you have treasured memories of cozying up under a family quilt while drinking hot chocolate and reading a book when you were visiting your grandmother’s house? Or are you a different generation where you only own quilts that you bought at the local home store or received as wedding presents?
Quilts have such a history and carry so much nostalgia for many of us. We love the memories that are woven into each of our quilts and many of us can appreciate the hard work involved in creating quilts. I have fond memories of talking to my 98 year old Grandma about quilts and have been able to capture her memories here! Have you seen this video?
But the quilters of today are taking the art of quilting to a whole new level. On our recent visit to the National Quilt Museum, we were amazed by the skill and artistry that quilters are showing in their finished pieces.
Quilts are Art
The first thing to know about quilts is that they are pieces of art. Whether they are made with pieces of old dresses or created with the finest fabric and threads, quilts are an art form. By definition, a quilt must have three layers and these quilters at the National Quilt Museum have taken simple three layers of fabric and batting to create some masterpieces.
New Quilts from an Old Favorite: Bow Tie
One of the exhibits currently on display is the New Quilts from an Old Favorite: Bow Tie exhibit. Quilt makers were challenged to create original quilts based on classic Bow Tie block patterns. Quilters from thirteen U.S. states and Taiwan modified Bow Tie Block designs in imaginative ways. We were fascinated at the way these quilters took the traditional design and wove it into their quilts. Look carefully and you will find this block in each of the quilts.
I have always loved miniatures but these quilts took it to an extreme level. These miniature quilts must be no more than 24 inches on a side and are made with every bit as much detail and intricate design as full size quilts. They call this the “Oh Wow!” exhibit, because you really can’t say anything other than Wow when you view these miniature masterpieces.
School Block Challenge
One of the most fascinating things I loved about the Quilt Museum is that they don’t just focus on the celebrity quilters who create amazing works of art, but they are also passionate about growing the craft at the youth level. The School Block Challenge, sponsored by Moda Fabrics is for children grades K-12 nationwide. Moda provides three challenge fabrics that must be included in every block entry. Students can put their math skills & creativity to work in creating a quilt square of their own design. Currently you can view the submission entries for the 2018 Challenge on display at the museum.
If you are interested in more information or want to participate in the 2019 School Block Challenge, entry forms will be available in August, 2018! More information here
Quilts for Everyone
The National Quilt Museum celebrates the modern day quilter as well as recognizing the contributions of older generations. There is something here for everyone. If you are a Beatles fan, then you will appreciate the quilt that is on display celebrating the legacy of this classic musical group! If you happen to be there when they are giving a guided tour, you may just see what is special about the back of this quilt too!
If you love JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit, you might find this intricate quilt as fascinating as my teenagers did!
For people who love a good scavenger hunt, you will love searching the quilts for hidden symbols and surprises.
Young and old alike can visit the National Quilt Museum and appreciate the amazing work by these quilters.
One last thing to make sure you catch on your visit is the wooden quilt in the front room. This quilt is made entirely out of wood. No matter how I try to convince you, it’s impossible to appreciate the fact that this quilt that looks like it is a piece of flowing fabric is actually a piece of carved wood.
Things to Know:
- Pictures are not allowed in the museum. I received special permission during my visit so I could share this post with you.
- The museum is handicap accessible. There are a few wheelchairs available for use at the museum. You should call ahead if you want to use one to make sure it is available on the day of your visit.
- No food or drink is allowed in the museum.
- There is a gift shop where you can purchase souvenirs and gift ideas.
Online Quilt Show
Do you love quilts and have a favorite in your home? Take a few minutes to enjoy the Online Quilt Show. Some of these quilts are works of art, and others are creations of love. **If you have a quilt you would love to share with us, just email Sharon today!
Sharon Williams is a mom of 3 who loves to read, travel, take pictures, work in the flowers and spend time with family. When she’s not blogging, she’s probably out enjoying life so she’ll have something fun to blog about tomorrow!