Quilts of the Midwest: Creations of Art and Utility

Quilts of the Midwest: Creations of Art and Utility

“I Have A Quilt”

 Appraisals – Lectures – Judging

The Quilts of the Midwest project will consist of nine venues that will showcase 20th and 21st century quilts of the Midwest.  The mission of the exhibits is to provide a regional as well as a national population with the opportunity to view and study many styles of quilts that can be seen in a short drive time. The exhibits will illustrate the great influence of Midwest quilts on quilt history.

Seven of the exhibits were initiated by Dee Dadik and Molly Butler, certified quilt appraisers, to present Midwest quilt history to the annual seminar of the American Quilt Study Group, Oct. 2-6, 2008, in Columbus, Ohio.   However, they were able to schedule the exhibits to run for most of the fall of 2008, thus presenting this quilt history to a much wider audience. This is their way of giving back to the community of quilters and historians.

The quilts shown at the venues will provide a great source of history, information, and inspiration to the quilting community members in Ohio and its contiguous states. Those interested in the exhibits may choose any one of the separate exhibits or see approximately 400 quilts at all of the sites in a short period of time. 

Many quilters are accustomed to going on “shop hops” to visit numerous quilt shops in a short period of time.  These exhibits are providing today’s quilters with a similar activity, “A Museum Hop”, to enable them to understand and appreciate their quilt heritage.  This is the largest number of concurrent exhibits presented to the public in the recent past in Ohio.

Information about these exhibits can be found at: midwestquilts.home.att.net.


“A Century of Quilt Designers”, Martin de Porres Center, Columbus, Ohio.  This venue will showcase many of the entrepreneurial women and Midwest quilt companies who promoted interest in quilting with their innovative business practices and original quilt designs. One hundred quilts will exemplify the color, design, and style prevalent throughout the past century and give a glimpse of our current art quilt movement.

“Amish Quilts: The Midwestern Tradition”, Snowden Gallery, The OhioStateUniversity, Columbus, Ohio. Quilts from Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, are showcased in this exhibit that compares Midwestern patterns, palettes, and techniques. Public and private collections have provided well-documented examples in this exhibit of about 18 quilts from about 1900 to 1960. Curated by Janice Tauer Wass.

“Favorites from the Mountain Mist Historical Collection”, Cultural ArtsCenter, Columbus, Ohio.  Mountain Mist® shares their favorites from the collection from fabulous appliqué designs to graphic pieces quilts.   These historical quilts date from late 1880s to 1975 with a concentration of quilts from the 1930s and 1940s.   Each quilt is a work of art and mastery in needle workmanship.

“Quilting Stories”, Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, Ohio.  This exhibit will show how 19th and 20th century Ohio quilters used quilting to tell stories about family, heroes, celebrations-and even political causes.  All quilts on display are from the Ohio Historical Society’s extensive collection of some 200 years of quilting in Ohio.

“Quilts of DelawareCounty”, RossArt Museum, Delaware, Ohio.  In celebration of the bicentennial of both Delaware county and the city of Delaware, quilts made in Delaware county are highlighted.  In addition to this exhibit, the artwork of LewisCenter resident Linda Wesner and historical objects and photographs are presented.

“The Marbaum Collection: 25 Years of Contemporary Quilts”, The DairyBarnArtCenter, Athens, Ohio.  The private collection curated by Hilary and Marvin Fletcher contains 21 former Quilt National Exhibition pieces dating back to Quilt National ’85.

“Quilting Heritage of WayneCounty”, WayneCounty Historical Society, Wooster, Ohio.  To celebrate Wooster’s bicentennial, the Wayne County Historical Society will showcase two centuries of outstanding WayneCounty quilts.  The beautiful textiles record the work of talented makers who fashioned quilts to express love for their families, involvement in the community and connection to national events.

“Patterns from the Past:  Quilts of Northern Ohio”, Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, Fremont, Ohio.  As the first state formed from the Northwest Territory, Ohio was the “Gateway to the West”.  Its population became a patchwork of people with varied customs and ethnic traditions.  The 30 quilts comprising this exhibit reflect Ohio’s 19th century diverse populace through their mingling of quilting styles and influence.

“Quilting African American Women’s History:  Our Challenges, Creativity, and Champions”, NationalAfro-AmericanMuseum and CulturalCenter, Wilberforce, Ohio.  This is the largest exhibit of its kind and showcases more than 100 contemporary quilts.  Experience the imagery that tells the story of African-American women and their crucial role in the survival of their people from slavery to the present.

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