Baltimore Album Quilts originated in Baltimore, Maryland, in the 1840s. These quilts are made up of a number of squares called blocks. Each block has been appliquéd with a different design. The designs are often floral, but many other motifs are also used, such as eagles and landmarks. The older Baltimore-style quilts have a background of white and incorporate many primary colors such as reds, greens and blues. Today’s quilters have taken liberties with this traditional style by changing the colors and motifs used.
Quiltmakers submitted quilts in the Baltimore Album style that use traditional or innovative designs for this special exhibit. All types of fabrics (cotton, silks, synthetics, wool, or other blends of fabric) could be used. The quilt must have a top, batting, and backing, held together with quilting stitches – by hand, machine, or a combination of both hand and machine. They could be an original design or made with a pattern, and sized between 50” to 95” in width and length.
Graffiti Cherrywood Challenge
Gritty urban areas can be the setting for colorful layers of graffiti. This form of expression dates back thousands of years. Why do people engage in graffiti? How can you capture this graphic art form in fabric? Can you do it with just eight colors? Quilters were encouraged to push themselves creatively and to think outside the box.
Eight colors of Cherrywood Hand-dyed Fabrics were used to create a 20-inch square quilted artwork. No other colors of fabric could be added. The only way to add more colors is with thread, Stringy Bits, paint, pencil, ink, beads, etc.
Name That Tune
Thirty-seven members of Gulf States Quilting Association (GSQA) made forty-two 8” diameter round quilts for this exhibit; each quilt representing the title of a song chosen by the quilter. This exhibit uses six canvas panels (each is ten-feet wide by 4 foot-6 inches high) with a painted musical staff and the notes to the song “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” attached to the canvas. Each 8-inch diameter round quilt is attached to a musical note in the song. New lyrics to the song with a reference to quilting are written below the musical staff. Below each note of the song is a number, and this exhibit becomes interactive when participants attempt to match the number of a song to the correct title of each song, all of which are listed on a play sheet. There is an Answer Sheet, which provides the list of the numbers and actual name of each quilt for the participants to compare their guesses.
The National Quilt Museum – New Quilts from an Old Favorite: Shakespeare
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 a biennial contest and exhibition titled New Quilts from an Old Favorite.
New Quilts from an Old Favorite acknowledges our quiltmaking heritage and recognizes innovation, creativity, and excellence. The contest challenges today's quiltmakers to interpret a theme, using a traditional quilt block of their choosing, into an original design. The theme for 2022 was Shakespeare and all the quilts are 24 x 40 inches. The Contest is sponsored by Janome and Moda Fabrics.
How do we balance humanity's needs and desires against preserving our planet for future generations? This question is at the heart of Sustainability, which addresses some of today's most pressing environmental issues, such as the effect of plastic pollution on our oceans, and the immense amounts of waste generated by the fast fashion industry.
All of the artwork in some way illustrates our complex interconnectedness with nature. Some pieces expose the ugly, and often unnoticed, impact of our present way of life; others capture the essence of what makes our world so beautiful, reminding us of the irreplaceable treasures we could potentially lose forever.
The Quilting Blues, Collection of Sue Reich
The color blue surrounds us with clear, azure skies and calm, peaceful seas where we seek serenity and relaxation. It’s the all-time favorite color in bedrooms. Blue is also associated with royalty, the military, and today, little boys’ clothing.
After World War I, a Colonial revival swept the country in the home decoration industry. The color blue once again became a favorite choice in quiltmaking harkening back to quilts Grandma made. There was a wave of patriotism from the 1930s with the NRA (National Recovery Act), World War II, and in 1976 with the Bicentennial Celebration, the red, white, and blue quilts reigned.
The quilts in this exhibit from the collection of Sue Reich represent 150 years of Quilting Blues, ranging from 1825 to 1976.