National Quilt Museum: Paducah, Kentucky


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? Las year, 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.

 Paducah Kentucky National Quilt Museum

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.

National Quilt Museum

New Quilts from an Old Favorite:  Bow Tie

One of the exhibits on display when we visited was 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.

New Quilts from an Old Favorite:  Bow Tie

New Quilts from an Old Favorite:  Bow Tie

Miniature 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.

Miniature Quilts WOW gallery

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.  While we were there you could view the submission entries for the 2018 Challenge on display at the museum.

School Block Challenge National Quilt Museum

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!

Beatles Quilt National Quilt Museum

If you love JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit, you might find this intricate quilt as fascinating as my teenagers did!

Tolkien Quilt

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.

Wooden Quilt Floating

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.

Connect with the Quilt Museum:
Website | Facebook

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!

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One Comment

  1. What an amazing place! I love the pictures. You’re right, it’s hard to imagine what a quilt museum would be like without the pictures. I especially enjoyed how you linked back to an interview with your 98-year-old grandmother about her memories of quilting. Beautiful pictures and beautiful writing, The phrase “We love the memories that are woven into each of our quilts” carries the sentiment perfectly. Thanks for sharing.

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