Visit the Quilt Index, part of The Alliance for American Quilts to view over 47,000 quilts, both historic and contemporary quilts from public and private collections.
"The Alliance for American Quilts (AAQ) is a nonprofit 501c3 organization established in 1993 whose mission is to document, preserve, and share our American quilt heritage by collecting the rich stories that historic and contemporary quilts, and their makers, tell about our nation's diverse peoples and their communities."
One of the collections included in the Quilt index is the Texas Quilt Search and the Winedale Quilt Collection at the Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. There you can see quilts like the Prickly Pear Quilt shown above.
The Texas Quilt Museum will open in fall of 2011, during the 175th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Texas. It will be the showpiece of a major celebration of Texas quilt art both at the Museum and at International Quilt Festival in Houston, which will host bus tours to the Museum's grand opening.
A not-for-profit entity, the Museum will operate under the aegis of The Quilt Institute. It will be housed in two historic 1890s buildings, which will provide a fine showcase for both antique and contemporary quilt art with their high ceilings, brick walls, and original hardwood floors. Home for the new Museum is the picturesque Central Texas town of La Grange
Another place for inspiration is the Online Quilt Museum. A World Showcase of Extraordinary Quilts, visit the Exhibits featuring an eclectic mix of quilt topics, and Galleries exhibiting the works of individual quilters. Quilters are encouraged to exhibit their own Gallery of quilts. We could set up a gallery of our quilts to show off all your hard work!
Other sites to visit:
Quilts and techniques used range from the traditional, such as patchwork blocks, to the art quilts and thread painting. Checkout these photos from the International Quilt Festivals on Flicker.
The National Quilt Museum hosted a juried quilt exhibit in conjunction with the 2010 World Equestrian Games which was being held for the 1st time outside of Europe, in Kentucky. “A Horse’s Tale” exhibit was a delight to horse lovers and quilt lovers alike. The exhibit featured 23 quilts. To see the current exhibits click here.
Quilt Barn Tours in the Midwest... from Living in the Midwest Magazine The beginning of the modern barn quilt trend is generally credited to Donna Sue Groves, an Ohio Arts Council field representative, who in 2001 promised her mother she'd paint a quilt square on the family barn. She eventually envisioned a trail of barn quilts through southern Ohio that would draw visitors to Adams County, boosting the economy and preserving the rich American quilting tradition.
In the last few years, Donna's vision has spread well beyond Adams County: Other areas in Ohio and surrounding states have started quilt barn trails to bring visitors to rural areas and provide appealing public art projects in the countryside. There now number over a 1000 barns in 21 states.
Tidbits of Quilting History -Take a stroll through history and discover how quilt blocks were named, how fabric dyes were made using plants and bugs, and little know facts (and maybe myths) about quilting through the ages. From theQuiltingCoach.com:
"Sew It Yourself--Home Sewing, Gender, & Culture 1890-1930" - A Rutgers University PhD history department dissertation by Sarah Gordon on women and sewing. Embedded in the online.pdf are oral interviews with a number of women sewers who recall their own sewing experiences in their youth or their mother's or grandmother's.
Check out these red & white quilts spanning at least 158 years, the earliest dated one is 1853. "Infinite Variety," the red and white quilt exhibit that has the quilt world abuzz. More than 650 quilts were on display at the Park Avenue Armory (which is breathtaking all by itself) in an installation by Thinc Design (click on About Our Work) that can only be described as genius. It's hard to articulate how it looked and how it felt, how quilters and non-quilters alike were moved not only by the quilts but also by the setting. It was reverential, cathedral-like in its magnificence.
The quilts are all owned by Joanna Rose, a self-described "accumulator" whose first red and white quilt was a gift at the birth of her first child some 54 years ago. When Joanna's husband asked her what she wanted for her 80th birthday, she requested "something I have never seen before, and something that would be a gift to the City." With this exhibit, both were accomplished.
You can enjoy the exhibit through a wealth of online resources:
History of Quilting
Do you need some inspiration or just want to see a bit of history?