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Arts & Culture

Institute Of Texan Cultures Blanketed In Quilts

The Institute of Texan Cultures has begun an exhibit called 'Makers and Their Inspiration.'   What the Makers are making is quilts. Lots of ‘em.

“They come from all over Texas.”

Sandra Sider curated the two collections here, and runs the Texas Quilt Museum in La Grange. As Sider explains, those creating quilts for this exhibit did so in Texas.

"Geographically they go all the way from up north all the way down to almost the Rio Grande, so it’s a huge geographic swath.”

There’s also a large variety of quilt styles and subjects in the 40-quilt exhibition, even a little humor thrown in. Ms. Sider told me about a quilt called 'Little Red Spot.'

"And the joke in that quilt is, you can look all over the place on it and there is no little red spot” she laughed.

Quilters have created a whole online world within which they trade ideas and fabrics.

“In the quilt blogs you’ll see people who say things like ‘I need a fabric that shows a Flamenco Dancer—does anyone have one?’" said Sider. "People get very specific about the subject matter.”

On Friday evening October the third Sandra Sider will be at the Institute to talk about the inspiration and techniques behind quilt-making. She says sometimes the inspiration is political.

"We have a lot of wonderful political quilts from the 19th century, Civil War quilts, raffle quilts for various issues, Suffragette Quilts for an example. Green quilts—we actually have a green quilt.”

I had to ask--What makes a quilt green?

“Well, her quilt actually is all green, which is sort of a twist on the idea" she laughed. "But there are people who make a conscious effort not to engage themselves or their work with anything that’s toxic.”

"Are people going to see this and say ‘this ain’t your grandma’s quilt show?’ I asked.

She laughed. “Yeah, it’s just not even your mother’s quilt show!”

We’ve more on the ITC quilt show here: http://www.texancultures.com/events/texas_art_quilts/