Column #76

"Maverick" Quilts at the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame

Whirling Ninepatch, c. 1900, maker and region unknown. Photo by Jean Demeter.
Whirling Ninepatch, c. 1900, maker and region unknown. Photo by Jean Demeter.

The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas, whose motto is, “The Women Who Shape the West…Change the World,” is hosting the world premiere exhibition of 35 unusual American quilts entitled, “Off the Wall: Maverick Quilts” through March 31.

Organized by Julie Silber and Jean Demeter of The Quilt Complex in Albion, California, “Maverick Quilts” demonstrates the ways that different individuals interpret the same traditional quilt patterns in dramatically dissimilar ways. The delightful results, according to the Museum, show quilts that “range from the elegant to the primitive, from predictable to wildly inspired. These antique quilts are moving and amusing, formal or funky. And all stops in between.”

The exhibit, which spans almost two centuries of quiltmaking, features mostly utilitarian quilts, although some of the pieces are very well crafted.

The Quilt Complex notes that all the quilts share “an unusual twist on the ordinary, a verve and a gritty individuality rarely found in more studied and self-conscious quilts. We do not know if the techniques or patterns they employ were the result of misunderstandings of the normal way of quiltmaking, or a conscious rejection of it.”

“There are many obvious ties between quilts and those very women we honor in our Museum,” notes Diana Vela, associate executive director of exhibits and education. “Many of our honorees were considered ‘mavericks’ in their time—doing things that were out of the ordinary, and going against traditionally prescribed roles. This exhibit nicely complements our mission to speak about those women who shaped the west and changed the world.”

The 10-year-old Museum was founded not only to preserve cowgirl history, but also, according to founders, “to share…the colorful stories behind these Western women who lived from the mid-1800s to present day—the pioneers, the artists and writers, the tribal leaders, the entertainers, the social activists, the modern ranchers, the rodeo cowgirls.”

Augmenting the Maverick exhibit are two special quilts on loan from the Texas Quilt Museum: The Barrel Racer by Susan H. Garman and The Mighty Oak by Mary Huntington. These pieces also hung in the Museum Rotunda, and dovetailed with the 2013 Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo earlier this year, which brought many visitors to the Museum.

Also corresponding to the quilt exhibit, the Museum accepted submissions of “Boots” quilt blocks intended to create community quilts.

The Quilter’s Guilds of Plano, Dallas, and McKinney, Texas are among those who are helping with the community quilts, along with additional participation from individual quilters and area shop owners. Depending on the number of quilts made, one or more may remain as part of the Museum’s permanent collection and others may be raffled off to raise funds for the Museum’s educational projects. The Museum welcomes any quilters who have the time to donate to assemble their quilts or participate in some way.

 

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Archived blogs:

Column 114: The Alabama State Quilt
Column 113: Balloon Quilts of Albuquerque
Column 112: The Family That Quilts Together, Stays Together
Column 111: Two Rivers, Three Sisters
Column 110: Quilters Helping Quilters
Column 109: Community Cookbooks and Fundraiser Quilts—Parallel Histories
Column 108: Quilting to Freedom
Column 107: National Quilting Day
Column 106: The Airing of the Quilts
Column 105: A Call for a National Juneteenth Commemorative Quilt
Column 104: Dominoes
Column 103: 1936 Texas Centennial Bluebonnet Quilt
Column 102: Helen Blackstone, A Texas Quilter
Column 101: Montana CattleWomen Anniversary Brand Quilt
Column 100: 100th Suzy's Fancy Column!
Column 99: Montana Stockgrowers Anniversary Brand Quilt
Column 98: The Tobacco Sack Connection
Column 97: Meet the Sisters Who Are State Fair Quilting Queens
Column 96: The connection between fairs and quilts.
Column 95: Her Mother Pieced Quilts
Column 94: Rebecca Barker’s Quiltscapes
Column 93: The Thread and Thimble Club Mystery
Column 92: The Ballerina Quilter
Column 91: Grandmother's Flower Garden Comes Alive at Texas Quilt Museum
Column 90: Leitmotif for a Lifelong Love Affair
Column 89: Quilting in The Bahamas
Column 88: Joan of Arc: A Quilter's Inspiration
Column 87: Home Demonstration Clubs and Quilting
Column 86: Linzi Upton and the Quilted Yurt
Column 85: A Bounty of Quilts
Column 84: Desert Trader
Column 83: Quilts and the Women’s Liberation Movement
Column 82: Replicating the Past: Reproduction Fabrics for Today’s Quilts
Column 81: Why So Many Quilt Shops in Bozeman, Montana?
Column 80: Southeastern Quilt and Textile Museum
Column 79: 54 Tons of Quilt
Column 78: Ollie Steele Burden’s Quilt Blocks
Column 77: Quilting with AMD
Column 76: Maverick Quilts and Cowgirls
Column 75: The Modern Quilt Guild—Cyberculture Quilting Ramps Up
Column 74: The Membership Quilt—Czech Quilting in Texas
Column 73: Maximum Security Quilts
Column 72: Author: Terri Thayer
Column 71: The Christmas Quilt
Column 70: New Mexico Centennial Quilt
Column 69: Scrub Quilts
Column 68: “Think Pink” Quilt Raises Funds for Rare Cancer Research
Column 67: Righting Old Wrongs.
Column 66: 100 Years, 100 Quilts - More on the Arizona Centennial.
Column 65: Arizona Centennial Quilt Project
Column 64: Capt. John Files Tom’s Family Tree
Column 63: The Fat Quarters
Column 62: Quilt Fiction Author: Clare O’Donohue
Column 61: Louisiana Bicentennial Quilt
Column 60: The Camo Quilt Project.
Column 59: Thread Wit
Column 58: Ralli Quilts
Column 57: Preschool Quilters
Column 56: The Story Quilt
Column 55: Red and Green Quilts
Column 54: On the Trail
Column 53: Quilt Trail Gathering
Column 52: True Confessions: First Quilt
Column 51: Quilted Pages
Column 50: Doll Quilts
Column 49: More Than a Quilt Shop
Column 48: Las Colchas of the Texas-Mexico Border
Column 47: Literary Gifts
Column 46: A Different Way of Seeing
Column 45: Sampling
Column 44: Hen and Chicks
Column 43: A Star Studied Event
Column 42: Shoo Fly Pattern
Column 41: Awareness Quilts
Column 40: Tivaevae
Column 39: UnOILed UnspOILed Coast Quilt Project
Column 38: Katrina Recovery Quilts
Column 37: Quilted Vermont
Column 36: The Labyrinth Quilt—A Meditative Endeavor

See other archived columns here

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