The Best 5: Quilt Museums & Workshops
Quilts warm Connecticut writer Barbara Wysocki’s toes and delight her eyes. Founding editor of Layers, the New England Quilt Museum’s newsletter, she’s also written for Art & Antiques magazine and was a contributor to Quilts and Quiltmakers: Covering Connecticut (Schiffer Publishing).
New England Quilt Museum
In the heart of a community rich in textile history, these intimate galleries alternate antique and contemporary fiber-art exhibitions four times a year (the L’Arbre de Vie quilt from Haiti’s Peace Quilts coooperative, on display in the museum’s Patience to Raise the Sun exhibition, through December 31). Also on the property, are a shop with fashionable fabric creations and a library open for further study. Each August the Lowell Quilt Festival, co-hosted by the museum, inspires other institutions and galleries across the city to present quilt-related displays.
18 Shattuck St., Lowell, MA. 978-452-4207; nequiltmuseum.org
Read a “Yankee Classic” on the museum’s Massachusetts Quilt Documentation Project.
After wandering through 1,400 bolts of rainbow-hued cloth, today’s quiltmakers may choose fabrics to create legacy patchwork and applique for succeeding generations. Everything you need to turn ideas into artful reality is under one roof. Designer workshops also make this a textile lover’s dream destination.
12 Main St., Center Harbor, NH. 800-525-8086, 603-253-8731 (customer service); 800-865-9458, 603-253-4026 (shop); keepsakequilting.com
Every year a unique combination of 30 to 50 visually stirring quilts are drawn from the museum’s collection of 400-plus works for close-up viewing in vertical racks. Exceptional pieces from a wide range of American eras and areas are folded into this folk-art haven. Stitch-savvy guides are on hand to explain all exhibits.
6000 Shelburne Road, Shelburne, VT. 802-985-3346; shelburnemuseum.org
Nestled in a historic town center, these 18th-century homes are more than “Washington slept here” stops. This small but well-preserved collection features beds covered in pristine quilts dating to the American Revolution. Standouts include an elaborately stitched raspberry-hued wool quilt plus classic red-and-white patchworks and rare cradle-size covers.
211 Main St., Wethersfield, CT. 860-529-0612; webb-deane-stevens.org
Rocky Mountain Quilts
Don’t let the name fool you: Betsey Telford-Goodwin sells antique quilts that hail from coast to coast, dating back to the 1700s. Eye appeal is paramount, but museum-quality craftsmanship is also essential to the 450 treasures on view (by appointment). Telford-Goodwin’s restoration service features original period fabrics, a rare find.
130 York St., York Village, ME. 800-762-5940, 207-363-6800; rockymountainquilts.com