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International Quilt Study Center & Museum houses the largest publicly held quilt collection in the world.The International Quilt Study Center & Museum
As summer approaches there are many quilt festivals, shows and museums to visit and enjoy.
Nearly ten years ago I participated in a quilt restoration workshop taught by Nancy Kirk owner of the Kirk Collection in Omaha, Nebraska. A portion of the workshop takes place at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) where we meet Dr. Patricia Crews and her staff including Carolyn Ducey, Curator of Collections.
Under their guidance we learn how to properly roll quilts in acid-free paper and store them in acid free boxes. We peer through microscopes and examine thread twists and discover the differences between wool and cotton threads. “D” sleeves are explained and why they use them instead of flat sleeves when hanging quilts.
At that time, the IQSC&M is in-house and cramped for space, but the dream of a free-standing building is already in the works. In 2008 the Center opens in its new location and is named for Nebraskans Robert and Ardis James who in 1997 donated their collection of nearly 1000 quilts. The new center houses more than 3500 quilts, the largest publicly held quilt collection in the world in a state-of-the-art facility.
Visiting the new Center is on my bucket list. Until I can get there in person, I enjoy the facility on-line. Each month I receive the quilt-of–the-month selection which includes the history of the quilt and its maker making for fascinating reading. You can browse specific collections or the database of thousands of quilts.
There are workshops and lectures. This April, Kathryn Berenson a world-renowned expert on French textiles will be a speaker at the Center’s fifth biennial symposium in conjunction with the exhibit Marseille: White Corded Quilting. In 2005 I was on a vintage quilt and textile tour of France. Ms. Berenson joined the tour to guide us through museums and educates us on white-corded quilting. I won’t make it to the Center in April, but the great thing about the Center’s website is you can download lectures and enjoy them, the next best thing to being there in person.
To start exploring this invaluable resource of quilt art, history education and care, go to
Please allow yourself plenty of time to browse and remember you can always go back. There is always something new!
Visit Born Again Quilts at www.bornagainquilts.com.

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Lois Levihn

She is the author of the "Around the Frame" quilting column. She is a graduate of Wayne HS. Quilts have always been important to her, she loves the stories surrounding them, the techniques used in making them, & restoring them. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer