Preserving Patchwork: International Quilt Study Center and Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska

Quilt Building

Name/Location International Quilt Study Center and Museum 33rd & Holdrege in Lincoln, NE
Open hours/Contacts Tues.-Sat. 10-4; Summer Sundays 1-4: 402-472-6549;  Facebook
Cost Adults: $6; Children (5-18): $3; Families: $12; UNL Students/Faculty: Free
What to Know Open the first Friday of each month from 4:30-7 with free admission & activities
Group Tours T-S @ 11 a.m.; Sat. @ 1 p.m. also; Reserved Group & Educational Tours
Museum Manners NO TOUCHING the quilts; no flash photography in quilt areas
Recommended Ages Any age with supervision; Ages 5 and up will enjoy the exhibits more

Quilt 2 patch

How much piecin’ a quilt is like livin’ a life! You can give the same kind of pieces to two persons, and one will make a “nine-patch” and one’ll make a “wild goose chase, ” and there will be two quilts made out of the same kind of pieces, and jest as different as they can be. And that is jest the way with livin’. The Lord sends us the pieces, but we cut them out and put ’em together pretty much to suit ourselves, and there’s a heap more in the cuttin’ out and the sewin’ than there is in the caliker.

Eliza Calvert Hall in “Aunt Jane of Kentucky”

The first time I went into this museum, I knew this was a Nebraska Treasure.  And this was even before they moved into the building that they are in now – the glass masterpiece that houses the world’s largest and longest dating collection of quilts.  You see, my paternal grandmother was a quilter.  While I definitely lack the sewing gene, I have a deep appreciation for those who can do handiwork.   (My poor skills are evidenced in the “repairs” that I have attempted on various items of clothing  And this is after attempting home economics several times!)  But, quilts evoke cozy memories, and I am so thankful that my grandmother’s quilts remain even as she no longer is with us.  I also have a special quilting story on my maternal side that I am planning to write more about soon!  Suffice it to say, I am grateful for the efforts of those who strive to preserve this important part of history.

Quilts 5 purposes arch

The International Quilt Study Center and Museum has been developed with five purposes in mind.

1)Collecting 2) Preserving 3) Studying 4) Exhibiting 5) Discovering

Quilts 5 purposes posters

There is a display that explains the details of what each area encompasses.

To protect the quilts, each exhibit only lasts for several months.  Although the quilts are carefully protected, too much exposure can weaken them.

Quilt Displays

These are the three exhibits that are on display in the three main galleries.  The exhibitions are on display for varying times.

Posing with Patchwork has to do with antique photographs that happen to contain quilts.  This is a video montage that the museum has compiled on the display.

If you thought that quilts are only for women, you were wrong.  This section is devoted to the extensive collection of Ernest B. Haight, a Nebraska engineer who did much to develop the preciseness of machine quilting.  All of my kids enjoyed this room – there is something pleasing about the geometric exactness of these quilts.

Quilt Room Displays

The last exhibit just opened recently and will last for several months.  These masterpieces need to be seen in person as pictures definitely do not tell the whole story.

Quilt Whole Story

In case you would like to know more about these fabric works of art, there is a special section devoted to what all cannot be easily seen.  In fact, the museum even offers afternoon tours specifically for this section of the museum if you arrange them at least a week in advance.

Quilt behind the scenes

If you would like to see more quilts from the museum displays of past and present, you can visit Photographs from the International Quilt Study Center and Museum.  This is truly an amazing place that everyone should experience often.  One of the goals of this museum is to be child friendly.  In an upcoming post, I will be discussing just how they go about accomplishing this.

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Categories: Lincoln, Metro, Nebraska History | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Preserving Patchwork: International Quilt Study Center and Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska

  1. Reblogged this on Henri van de Zee.

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