Tuesday, December 6, 2016

STARGAZING AT THE IOWA QUILT MUSEUM


I am lucky to live near the Iowa Quilt Museum, which opened earlier this year in Winterset, Iowa—home to the famous bridges of Madison County. I had recently had a free Friday afternoon and decided to pop over for a visit. What a treat it was to catch their star quilt exhibit, “Stargazing: American Star Quilts" which features more than 30 antique and contemporary star-studded quilts. My friend and antique collector Virginia Berger curated this amazing exhibit and she has played an instrumental role in getting the museum up and running. Won't you step inside this charming building with me to take a peek at the quilts?


Set amidst the nostalgic charm of an 1886 building that was originally a hardware store, it's quite a sight with the original tin ceiling, museum-quality light fixtures and beautifully refinished floors. Several antique items native to Madison County—such as treadle sewing machines, display cases from historic local merchants and a four-poster bed from the local historical society— accent the interior.


The quilt to the very left of the previous photo and below was made by Liz Porter of Fons and Porter. Inspired by 19th-century star quilts, she used 1800s reproduction prints from her stash to create this beauty.  


I loved the way the walls were arranged to spotlight the quilts on display. I was especially charmed by the pink quilt in the below photo. According to its accompany info, it is called Broken Stars and was made 1930. Virginia assembled lots of intriguing info on the history of the patterns and some of the featured quilts were loaned by her. I had as much fun reading her information as I did looking at the quilts!


On the second floor, we were able to catch a bed turning of more lovely star quilts like this pretty green one. I'm afraid I did not catch the details on it but it was certainly a treat to see it.


The second floor even included an enchanting display of toy sewing machines! Don't they just make you smile?


To get a closer look at the quilts featured in this post plus many more, be sure to plan a visit to the Iowa Quilt Museum by January 24, 2017, when the exhibit closes. I hope this post will encourage you to go. I really feel so fortunate to have such a quilting treasure trove so close by! The museum is located at 68 E. Court Ave. in Winterset, Iowa and admission is $6 for adults or an annual pass for $20. For more details on the museum, visit iowaquiltmuseum.org.


I thought I'd close this post with a couple star-theme photos from my own photo archives. The below shot is a snippet of my antique LeMoyne Star quilt, which is predominantly the same green you see in the photo. Because I believe in using the quilts I have, I drape this one over the pink sofa in my parlor. It makes a nice nesting spot for my kitties!


And here is a little star pincushion I designed for the Moda Bake Shop several years back. It is inspired by an antique one I picked up in Lexington, Kentucky 15 years ago that had what looked like little fluffy balls attached to each star point. 


I'm curious to know if any of you who read this blog have made star quilts or are lucky to have found an antique one. Whether old or new, they certainly make cozy accents for our homes!

7 comments:

  1. I was lucky enough to find a circa 1900's Rolling Star quilt. It has a white background and red and blue star blocks. I've also made several star quilts and have an ongoing project of Evening Star blocks in indigos.
    How nice to have a quilt museum close by. I visited Winterset on a quilting bus tour one time and I remember going in Fons & Porter's shop (back in 1997). We are lucky to have the Texas Quilt Museum here in my state.

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    1. Your antique quilt sounds amazing! What a neat find. When I'm in Texas, I'll have to make a point to visit that museum.

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  2. I love star quilts. Wish I lived closer so I could see this exhibit in person. Thank you for sharing it with those of us who can't see it in person.

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    1. I'm glad you could stop by, Carol. I'm sorry you don't live closer but at least you could get a glimpse of the exhibit here.

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  3. What a lovely display. Thanks for the tour, Kimber. Even the outside of the building is gorgeous. I made a star quilt many years ago. It is called Starry Sensations and was a BOM on an online group, the International Friendship Quilters (IFQ). There are all sorts of stars on it.

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  4. What a beautiful exhibit and location. I'm too far to visit. I don't think I ever made a star quilt.

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  5. I might actually be able to visit it. I'm interested in the last picture though. Is this your new home treadle machine? I'm looking for a cabinet for mine. I have a 1919 electric. I've been using it as a hand crank. I'm a bit nervous to plug it into the house.

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