Heartland Gallery logoOften people think of the art quilt movement as something new. And the age-old question is, is quilting an art form? People assume that in the past, most quilts were made out of necessity. This is far from the truth as women of all circumstances typically made their quilts to add beauty to their home. From the wife of a wealthy land owner creating a quilt of elegant applique to a pioneer woman sewing scraps together in her sod home, quilts could be a source of artistic expression. The story of quilting in America begins with wholecloth and medallion quilts made by the few colonial women with the leisure time to make them. The heart of the story tells of the explosion of quilt making when manufactured fabric became plentiful and affordable around 1840. It continued to grow over the decades and even continues with the present popularity of quilt making.

Heartland_QuiltsWith further research we discovered the transition of quilting to become more of an art in recent years.The Discovery of Art in Quilts, Abstract Design in American Quilts: A Biography of an Exhibition by Jonathan Holstein and Shelly Zegart. This quietly began to change in the late 1960s when two art collectors, Jonathan Holstein and Gale van der Hoof, recognized that quilts could display abstract art much like the modern art that was in vogue at the time. They began to collect quilts that caught their eye for their artistic expression. With their enthusiasm for these quilts as art they were able to convince the Whitney Museum in New York to do an exhibition. I find it most amusing that this display replaced an Andy Warhol exhibit of cow wallpaper. The presentation titled “Abstract Design in American Quilts” was such a hit that the exhibit went on to travel around the United States and to Europe. Soon after that Amish Quilts were discovered by art aficionados and people began to buy them as art.

Artist’s Turn to Quilts as Art: Nancy Crow – pioneer quilt artist. While the early emphasis was on art in quilts of the past it wasn’t long before artists began to create new quilts as art. You notice I said “artists”. The quilt art movement was primarily started by artists who originally created in other art media. For example early art quilter Michael James had been trained in painting and print making while Nancy Crow began her art career in ceramics and weaving. It has been more recently that quilters have gone from traditional quilting to quilt art.

Heartland Artists Gallery is proud to share the opportunity for you to see local artists show their quilted art through the Friendship Quilters’ Guild from our immediate area. Heartland believes this to be an Art as well. The Guild will be displaying Jelly Roll and Round Robin quilts, other creative quilts and many quilted gift items. The Friendship Quilters’ Guild has been in existence over 15 years and has shown at our Gallery for five years.

Heartland_poppy quilt

The Community is invited to an Open House on Friday, Sept 16th from 5-8 pm at the Heartland Artists Gallery to view all the quilts in the September Show and meet the quilters. The Marshall County Historical Museum will also hold an Open House at the same time that evening to share more quilts. They will have the traveling Indiana Bicentennial Barn Quilt on display from September 13th – 17th that features a unique barn square for each of the 92 counties. Local collectors, Mary Muffley from Plymouth and George Ogden from Culver will showcase part of their collection of vintage quilts at the Museum, along with some fun and interesting quilt designs from the Museum archives. Join us in the Art Block on North Michigan Street between Garro and LaPorte Streets when it becomes the Quilted Block.

The Friendship Quilters Guild made the full size quilt titled ‘Threads from the Heartland’. This quilt will be raffled off and the Guild will sell tickets at the Gallery in September.. Their president, Kathy Zentz hosts their meetings on the 2nd Monday of the month at the Life Enrichment Center, 7:00 pm. The Guild has a wonderful creative ingredient as well as a serving and compassionate heart. They gift quilts and quilted items to comfort others through their end products. They make quilted Christmas stockings for Quiet Comfort, quilts for Hospice, items for the Memorial Neonatal Unit, the Homeless shelter and other groups that need their loving gifts of quilted art. The Guild accepts fabric from former quilters and estates and then use their talent to turn the fabric into wonderful quilts to comfort others.

Heartland_Flag Quilt

Heartland’s 28th Annual Regional Juried Art Exhibit will take place October 1st – Oct. 29th. Then Sat., Oct. 1st, Heartland will host the ‘Experience the Arts in Marshall County’ Event Block Party in the Art Block on North Michigan Street in downtown Plymouth from 11-7. People may view the juried art in the Heartland Gallery as well as the member art in three Annex Galleries (City Centre, Chamber of Commerce and Wild Rose Moon). You can also experience art talks and demonstrations, kids and adult art classes, craft beer and Schnabeltier Cheese & Wine tasting, Walleye Fish sandwiches, food, desserts and drink, photo opportunities with all the Plymouth three foot blueberry sculptures placed together, a dance performance and street musicians throughout the one-day event. The street musicians that day include: Martin and Corinne Lucas-Return to Normal, Doug Harsch, George Schricker& Howard Gibbs-Crackin’ Up.

There will be a concert at Wild Rose Moon by Adrienne Frailey& Cool Change at 7:30 on Friday, Sept. 30th. Peter Nye and Dan Moser will be performing at the Wild Rose Moon at 7:30 on Saturday night in the same block as the Block event.

Mark your calendars for Sat., Oct. 1st in downtown Plymouth. Thank you to the sponsors of this event: Visit Marshall County, Edward Jones, NIPSCO and Bowen Printing.

The Gallery’s mission is to support area artists, and to bring and to teach the arts to our community. Our not-for-profit Gallery gives area artists a venue to show and sell their art. Our art classes fulfill our mission for educating and they also assist in our financial means to maintain the Gallery. Visit www.heartlandartgallery.com and Facebook or call 574.936.9515 for information. The Gallery location is 101 N. Michigan St., in downtown

Plymouth. Gallery hours are Tues. – Sat. 10-4.

Photo Caption:

1) This beautiful quilt titled ‘Threads from the Heartland” is now on display at Heartland Artists Gallery and  will be raffled off, tickets are available at the Gallery. This and over 50 other quilts and quilted gift items creatively made by the Friendship Quilters’ Guild will be on display and for sale in September at the Gallery.

2) The Poppy quilt was quilted by Sue Collins, who is part of the Friendship Quilters’ Guild.

3) The American flag is a Jelly Roll quilt and was quilted by Carol Schmidlapp.


* http://www.womenfolk.com/quilting_history/art_quilts.htm


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