Where Quilt Nation Shops

Current Exhibits


Into the Wild: Quilted Creatures

New Quilts from an Old Favorite: Nine Patch Antique
Nine Patch Quilts
The National Quilt
Museum Collection
Miniature Quilts

Into the Wild: Quilted Creatures

February 26 - April 7, 2015

Quilts designs are basically pieced or appliqued. Applique is the traditional method for creating a realistic image in cloth. The vast majority of such applique quilts feature floral designs. Appliqued Rose of Sharon, Carolina Lily, Tulip, Whig Rose, Iris - the list goes on and on.

Quiltmakers of today look everywhere for inspiration, including their gardens. But instead of simply wishing to re-create blooms and vines, they have looked beyond to the creatures that make the garden their home. Frogs, mice, salamanders, birds, beetles, and butterflies have provided inspiration for the contemporary quiltmaker. You will find such fauna in quilts in this exhibit including Dancing in the Light by Ellen Anne Eddy, Feathered Beauties by Pamela Humphries, and Organic Garden by Bonnie Keller.

Phoenix Rising by Nancy Clark

Not far from the garden is the farm, and creatures there have also found a home in quilts. Ms. MacDonald Had a Farm by the Hanging By a Thread Quilt Group portrays all the denizens of a farm, while Corn Crib by Adabelle Dremann brings a pig to life. Goato and Friends by Barbara Barber is a view of the critters seen while walking a country lane.

The works of Tolkien inspired two quilts by Sue McCarty: Tribute to Tolkien and Adventure Awaits. In these two quilts alone you will find more than 25 animals. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Laura Heine draws on the work of Dr. Seuss. Other creatures from the realm of the imagination include elk and deer in Petroglyph by Patricia L. Styring and Birds of a Different Color and Migration #2 by Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry. Pat Holly's exploration of the art and culture of India inspired her to create Paisley Peacock, a phantasmagorical rendering of over 30 peacocks.

Shirley P. Kelly has drawn animals her whole life. Flowers of the Crown celebrates her love of horses, Puffins is a nod to the Nova Scotia home of her mother, and Pandas ‘Round the World was inspired by a visit to the National Zoo with her children.

There is more: cats, dogs, zebras, alligators and elephants. We here at the National Quilt Museum hope you are inspired to create your own creature quilt - or just hug your pet!

Javanese Jungle by Audree L. Sells
Garden Maze by Irma Gail Hatcher
New Quilts from an Old Favorite: Nine Patch

March 13 - May 19
One of the roles of a museum is not only to preserve the past, but also to link the past to the present and to the future. With that knowledge at heart, The National Quilt Museum holds an annual contest and exhibit called New Quilts from an Old Favorite. Created to acknowledge our quiltmaking heritage and to recognize innovation, creativity and excellence, the contest challenges today's quiltmakers to interpret a single traditional quilt block in a work of their own design.


Click here to read more about nine patch quilts.

Click here to read more about the contest.

Click on quilt image for larger view.

Fifty-Eight Nines by Anita Karban-Neef

Revolution #9 by Robin Gausebeck

Antique Nine Patch Quilts

Nine Patch Carpenter's Wheel c. 1930

March 13 - May 19
Curator, Judy Schwender, sought an exemplary collection of traditional nine patch quilts. The Antique Nine Patch quilt collection is an excellent complement to the modern twist New Quilts from an Old Favorite: Nine Patch. Each antique quilt sets apart as a unique identifier of the various ways a nine patch quilt is pieced and quilted. Enjoy these "aged like wine" quilts as you sashay through the galleries.

Click on the quilt image for a larger view.

Young Man's Fancy c. 1900

The National Quilt Museum Collection

The National Quilt Museum's main gallery is made up of quilts from the Museum's own collection. Currently, the Museum has over 320 quilts from over 350 different quilt makers in our collection. At any given time, 50-60 of these quilts are on display in the gallery for the public to view. The rest of the collection is housed in our temperature and humidity controlled vault.

Our collection is made up of some of the most extraordinary quilts ever produced. The majority of the quilts in our collection are award winners from regional and national contests. Others have been chosen for a number of different reasons including their uniqueness or their historic relevance. The collection is quite diverse, including quilts of many different styles from quilters throughout the world. If you would like to get information on the collection, the Museum produces a collection book with information on each of the quilts. The book is available through our online shop.

How do we choose the quilts for our collection? The Museum received thousands of submittals for collection consideration each year. A collection committee made up of well respected quilters and appraisers makes the final decision on which quilts will ultimately become part of the collection. Only one exception to this process exists. Each year the winning quilts at the AQS Paducah Quilt Show are added to the Museum's collection without having to go through the typical process for selection.

We take great pride in quality and diversity of the Museum collection and we will continue to expand it as time goes forward.

Click here to purchase our collection book.

The museum's collection became available online in partnership with the Alliance for the American Quilt through the Quilt Index. To see all of the museum's quilts, visit www.quiltindex.org.

Oh WOW! Miniature Quilts

There and Back Again by Teri Barile
Click for Detail

Miniature quilts have grown in popularity and sophistication over the past several years. These quilts are made to scale as any size quilt would be; they are simply smaller in scale. As a general rule, to be considered a 'miniature quilt' a quilt must be no more than 24 inches on a side

The first reaction people have when they see these tiny wonders is "Oh, Wow!" Says National Quilt Museum founder Bill Schroeder, "No better words could describe this remarkable collection of miniature quilts. The more carefully you look at them, the more you will agree."

If you would like to learn more about miniature quilts, a companion book entitled Oh, Wow! The Miniature Quilts and Their Makers is available.