"These aren’t your grandmothers’ quilts,” has become an unofficial tagline for the Shafer Art Gallery’s annual exhibit from the National Quilt Museum — and for good reason. The ornate designs and craftsmanship of the 18 quilts on display far exceed that of what most people likely think of when they hear the word “quilt.”
The exhibit is now open and will be up through Dec. 14. The Shafer Gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1-5 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is free.
This year’s travelling show is titled “New Quilts from an Old Favorite 2014: Carolina Lily.”
Quilters from 13 U.S. states and Japan modified Carolina Lily block designs in imaginative ways, providing a wonderful look at the skills, techniques and creativity of today’s quilt-makers.
“Nothing speaks the language of American experience better that the quilt,” Shafer Art Gallery Director Dave Barnes said.
“It evokes a vision of frugal ingenuity, warm domestic interiors and the smell of Grandma’s apple pie. I remember as a very little boy playing under the quilting frame at the Women’s Missionary Council’s Saturday morning quilting bee. The ladies from my father’s church would send their quilts to missionary families as an expression of love and a taste of warmth and home. The art quilts that adorn the walls of the Shafer Gallery are not, however, the kind a church would send to missionaries in the field. They are more to look at than to cuddle under. The quilts in the Gallery are from the finest quilt-making competition in the country and they are always drop-jaw beautiful.”
Support for the contest is provided by MODA Fabrics and Janome America Inc.
Quilters wishing to enter future “New Quilts from an Old Favorite” contests can request an entry form by sending an SASE to NQM, P.O. Box 1540, Paducah, KY 42002-1540 or visiting the museum’s website at www.quiltmuseum.org. Upcoming themes are Nine Patch in 2015, New York Beauty in 2016, and Flying Geese in 2017. The National Quilt Museum is a non-profit institution located in downtown Paducah, Ky., and is supported in part by the Kentucky Arts Council.