A Quilter’s Pilgrimage

Living in Akron, Ohio, I’ve become used to the annual pilgrimages AA members make to Dr. Bob’s house.  I’m not above making pilgrimages of my own. When my husband and I decided to take a road trip to Montana I lobbied for a stop in Lincoln, Nebraska, to visit the International Quilt Study Center and Museum.

My husband, being supportive of my obsession, went along with this, and dropped me off at the museum’s doors just as it opened. Since we were there on a Saturday I couldn’t wheedle my way into a behind the scenes tour of the archives. Instead I’ll have to make do with the videos. I hope you look at the quilt index to see the breadth of the museum’s collection. However, Michael James’ latest work was featured in one of the exhibitions, so I was content.

Michael James sparked my interest in quilting long ago when I got hold of his The Quiltmaker’s Handbook and realized that quilting could combine craft and art. His work has changed considerably since that book. The 2015 piece below shows he’s returned to his printmaking roots via digital printing. The piecing is extremely simple, but each piece of fabric contains worlds.

International Quilt Museum Each Of These Leaves Michael James 2015Covering the War featured quilts honoring soldiers individually and collectively. This jacket by an unknown seamstress caught my eye. I believe the Morse Code underneath the V stands for SOS.

International Quilt Museum Victory Jacket 1942-45 maker unknownStill other exhibits featured quilts from many world cultures, a small collection of circle themed art quilts by local artists, and toy sewing machines.

For reasons I never discovered, Lincoln is dotted with giant light bulb sculptures that feature themes related to nearby landmarks. Here’s the one in front of the museum.

Sculpture International Quilt MuseumOf course I couldn’t leave without visiting the gift shop. I came away with the catalogs for the Michael James exhibition and the 2001-2 European Art Quilts II show. No tee shirts this time.

10 Comments

Filed under Art quilts, Commentary, Inspiration

10 responses to “A Quilter’s Pilgrimage

  1. Patty

    Sounds like you are having a wonderful time! Can’t wait to hear more about your trip to the museum at the next MQG meeting.

    • I’ll try to remember to bring the two catalogs I purchased to the next meeting. They also had a room filled with quilts by Victoria Findley Wolfe – most of the ones featured in her book.

  2. Rebecca in SoCal

    I’ve been interested in “pilgrimages” for a while now; both religious and secular (like visiting all American baseball parks). I had decided that quilt museums could constitute a pilgrimage, so you are fulfilling my “quest.”

    …- is V (as in victory, or Roman numeral 5 [think Beethoven]) 😉

    • One of my brothers-in-law makes pilgrimages to state capitols. The husband of a friend attends MLB games in every team’s home stadium. Bikers go to Sturgis, SD. Whatever floats your boat.

  3. Such an enjoyable post! Thank you.

  4. Pam

    IQSCM is on my bucket list of places to visit, though highly unlikely that I will ever get there. In the meantime, I count on their enewsletter and reviews from those who have been there in person – thanks!

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