Sum of Many Parts

Last January, we saw a wonderful quilt exhibit, on display at the Iowa State Historical Society briefly last winter.

This exhibit traveled to six cities in China between Sept. 2012 and Sept. 2013 as a showcase of American textile traditions created by 25 American quilters. Des Moines, Iowa was its first stop in the United States. And, though my photos were taken in January 2014, the exhibit is still traveling and as a matter of fact, opens today at the The Foundry Art Centre in St. Charles, MO. QuiltsatEntryThe three quilts shown above are by Alicia Avila, Edna Patterson-Petty and the one on the bottom right is by Caryl Bryer Fallert.

This Star Quilt by Patricia Renault Stuen (a Chippewa) is made in the tradition of Plains Indians; stars are favored by the Indians in part because the design reflects their beliefs associated with the solar system.StuenQuilt

Louisiana Bendolph is a member of the Gee’s Bend Quilt Collective and a native of Alabama. Her quilt, Housetop Variation, was pieced by her, and then, as is their tradition, women from the collective work together to hand quilt the piece:BendolphQuilt

Patricia Cox’s Floral Fantasy is hand-appliqued and hand-quilted in the Baltimore Album style. Patricia lives in Minnesota.


Hawaiian quilts–so totally unique and steeped in tradition! Each of Patricia Lei Murray’s quilts tells a story about her family or community heritage. Ku’u Kanae I ka La’l o ka Malu is dedicated to her father.



This is Rise & Shine, Inner City by Martha Ginn from Mississippi:GinnQuiltShe made the Y-units and then laid them out in gradating colors to piece them together.

I was entranced by these next few quilts. Tomboy Bride by Betty J. Collins of Tennessee is a piecing masterpiece! It is hand-pieced and hand-quilted using more than 120 different fabrics. This is a traditional block pattern that would have decorated a wedding quilt.CollinsQuilt1

The Red One, My Charm Quilt by Beth Donaldson, sang to me. I love a good red quilt and what a great hexagon layout:


This is Subtle Sixties by Linda Roy, hard to photograph as it was in a dark corner, but the detail on this quilt is astonishing. There is couching, ruched flowers, yo-yos, reverse-applique, metallic thread art, teeny-weeny quilting stitches… you name it. All expertly executed.AppliqueQuilt1

AppliqueQuilt2If you get a chance to see this in St Charles, MO this Spring or Summer… or next up, Winter Park, FL, don’t miss out. These quilts are amazing and the narrative of the exhibit is so well executed.

Just as I finished writing this post, I discovered there is a Flickr Gallery of all of the quilts–better pics than some of mine and the quilts I missed snapping a photo of are included there.



2 thoughts on “Sum of Many Parts

  1. Pingback: An Iowa Quilt | made by a brunnette

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