Paducah, Kentucky, is a few miles across the Ohio River from Metropolis, Illinois, and we crossed the body of water on a two-lane metal bridge. The GPS took us out of our way because of road construction on the freeway. Traveling in this direction would get us to The National Quilt Museum a few minutes faster. We were in no hurry, but it beat sitting in a traffic jam with semi exhaust fumes on the freeway. Paducah is a larger community than Metropolis. Rooster and I looked forward to a great adventure once we crossed the river.
Arriving at The National Quilt Museum
We crossed our fingers and toes, hoping that the museum would be open to the public. Many places are still closed due to COVID. When we pulled into the parking lot, the first thing we saw was several cars pulled into spaces. On our way to the front entrance, I noticed vehicles from Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri. A mask hiding the smile on the woman’s face at the front desk and the ones adorning our faces were the only evidence we are still in a pandemic. She told us to be sure and stop at the conference room to see the quilt made of wood before we left.
The wooden quilt at The National Quilt Museum
Rooster and I went into the gift shop to search for a refrigerator magnet. We started collecting them to remind us of our blog adventures. The magnets came in handy during lockdown because all our adventure plans got canceled. They gave us hope we would soon be back on the road searching for unique experiences. We wandered into the conference room and searched for the wooden quilt but couldn’t find it.
The lady working the front desk came to the rescue when she noticed the confused looks on our faces. She pointed out Frasier Smith’s quilt Floating hanging on the wall. The bright blue, pink, and yellow blocks looked like fabric. I wanted to run my fingers over the surface to ensure the material used was wood but knew touching wasn’t allowed. Rooster and I were also impressed with the Patchwork Pelican sculpture located near the conference room door. The stained glass windows in the lobby with the quilt patterns reflected the light.
Quilts on display at The National Quilt Museum
Velda Newman’s Hollyhocks.
Arturo Sandoval’s Pattern Fusion.
Philippa Naylor’s Limelight
School Block Challenge (I was impressed by the creative expression of these children.)
My Impression of The National Quilt Museum
I liked the School Block Challenge exhibition best of all. Paducah is doing a good job of introducing the art of quilting to the next generation. The other quilts seemed too perfect. They were made by artists and not by everyday women who used scraps of fabric to make a blanket to keep someone warm at night. As a quilter, I know it is tradition to leave a few intentional flaws because God is the only perfect creator. I wish there had been a part of this museum dedicated to antique quilts made by women who performed this sewing expression of art at night by the light of a candle or while they watched television in modern times. I would have felt more at home with a display made by those work-weary hands.
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.
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