The Virginia Quilt Museum To Open Two New Summer Exhibits

  • HARRISONBURG, Virginia
  • /
  • April 23, 2021

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Alice Beasley, She Refused to Walk Behind.
Virginia Quilt Museum

On July 20, 2021, the Virginia Quilt Museum will open two new exhibits, “Bindings from the Valley” and “Deeds Not Words”.

“Bindings from the Valley”

“BINDINGS" of culture and tradition describe Shenandoah Valley quilt making since pioneer settlers came to the "Valley of Virginia" before the American Revolution. Primarily German-speaking immigrants, mixed with Quakers, Scots-Irish, and English speakers, settlers were predominantly from Pennsylvania and eastern Maryland.

Early to mid-19th century quilters exhibited a reserved elegance of structure in pattern choices and colors. Fond of triangles, quilters created a unique pattern to the region of Virginia (and what is now West Virginia), seen in quilts named "Farmers Fancy" or “Farmers Delight."

Farmer's Fancy.
Virginia Quilt Museum

 “We are extremely fortunate to be hosting the American Quilt Study Group Conference this year,” says Susan Farmer, the Executive Director of the Virginia Quilt Museum, “and to celebrate this, we have teamed up with a talented group to host this exhibit.”

“Deeds not Words”

Dr. Sandra Sider, Curator of the Texas Quilt Museum, and Pamela Weeks, Binney Family Curator of the New England Quilt Museum, collaborated to create a touring exhibition of studio art quilts to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote. Twenty-eight award-winning artists from across the United States accepted the invitation to create new works celebrating women’s suffrage, along with one artist whose 1995 quilt on the 1848 Declaration of Sentiments is included.

The subjects of the works include many of the women who are well known for their work in the century-old fight for the vote for women, but many more of the women the artists chose to commemorate are less well known. Alice Beasley’s work centers on Ida B. Wells, an African-American suffragist who was nationally known as a journalist, lecturer, and for her anti-lynching campaign. When she traveled to Washington, DC, in 1913 to march in the suffrage parade, she refused to follow instructions given to the black delegates to march at the back of the parade, and stepped into her place with the other delegates from Chicago.

The Virginia Quilt Museum is the Official Quilt Museum of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Founded in 1995, the museum’s mission is to “cultivate and preserve the quilting arts in Virginia” The museum's three floors of rotating exhibits are open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm. The museum is located at 301 S. Main St. Harrisonburg, VA.

For more information about the Virginia Quilt Museum, please visit 

Tags: folk art

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