The International Quilt Study Center & Museum on the campus of the University of Nebraska—Lincoln is a treasure of a destination for quilters. The building is a state-of-the-art green facility.
Inside, breathtaking museum-quality exhibits await quilters.
Three galleries of rotating exhibits are on display in temperature, light, and humidity-controlled conditions.
The IQSCM collection includes more than 2,300 quilts. At any on time, about 45 to 55 quilts are on display. A Pojagi exhibit (on display in late 2008), showcased Korean patchwork and quilts.
The quilts were an interesting mixture of fabrics, colors, and textures. Fabrics used included heavy silk, silk gauze, ramie, hemp, and cotton.
Some traditional Korean garments and costumes were included in the Pojagi exhibit. Most were on loan from the extensive collection of Mrs. Soon-Hee Kim, director of the Chojun Textile and Quilt Art Museum in Seoul, South Korea.
For most exhibits, visitors can enjoy a self-guided audio tour to learn more about the quilts on display.
Behind-the-scenes planning to document and preserve the museum’s quilts is equally amazing. Depending on size, quilts are stored one or two per box. Automated shelving units slide along floor tracks allowing storage for up to 8,000 quilts.
Quilts too delicate to be folded are stored flat on individual trays that slide out.
The crazy quilt My Crazy Dreams by M.M.H. Ricard has many of the elements the IQSCM desires when selecting quilts for its collection.
My Crazy Dreams features a lithograph photo of the quiltmaker.
It also includes her stitched name and the dates 1877-1912.
“Despite the 35-year span, the quilt isn’t done,” says Carolyn Ducey, curator of collections. “You can still see basting stitches.”
Staff and trained volunteers conduct an object survey to record the size of each quilt in the collection, its condition, and the fabric or fiber content.
The information is recorded in the database, along with the year the quilt came into the collection, its unique identification number, and its photo.
The IQSCM is also a place of learning. College students work under the direction of Michael James, professor and chair of the Department of Textiles, Clothing and Design at the University of Nebraska.
The Virtual Gallery is a treat for visitors. Touch-screen computer stations allow visitors to see nearly all of the quilts in the collection, to design their own patterns, and to watch short videos on related textiles history.
There’s even a booth to record your own short video about your quilting history or your trip to the IQSCM.
Don’t miss a trip to the second-floor gift shop filled with fun quilt-related gifts.
Benefactors Ardis and Robert James’ are especially notable in the development of the museum. The gift of their private collection of 950 quilts is the centerpiece of the IQSCM’s collection.