Tales from the Road: Nebraska Quilt Study Center and Textile Gallery

It has been a few months since I was at the Roller Skating National Championships this past summer, but there were a few awesome places I got to visit that were too good to not post about.  This was my first year in Lincoln as a non-competitor, so I had more time than normal to explore.  I’ve previously posted about my journeys to the National Museum of Roller Skating, which I did visit this year as well.  They’ve reorganized a bit, and changed some of the displays, which was fun to see.  I also got to visit the Omaha Zoo for the first time.  But, seeing as how this is a sewing blog, and we are really all here mostly because of the fabric, the really exciting bits of my adventure was to the International Quilt Study Center & Museum and to the Robert Hillestad Gallery.

International Quilt Study Center & Museum

The Quilt Study Center is part of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, but housed in their own lovely facility complete with galleries, storage, work rooms, lecture halls, seminar rooms, and offices.  It has pretty easy parking too, which was nice.  The Study Center is constantly updating their exhibits, and had some lovely displays during my visit.

The first gallery featured Favorites from the Byron and Sarah Rhodes Dillow Collection.  These were many “traditional” quilts that had been collected over the years and featured unique motifs, techniques, or fabrics.  I particularly loved the red and green feathered design on the first sample quilt, and the unique design (though perhaps not the colors) on the black/orange/pink quilt.

The next gallery featured Quilts of Southwest China.  The designs and stitch work were amazing!  They had a video showing how some of the curved designs are created on the quilts, and lots of fabulous examples with brilliant colors.

I was obsessed with this quilted jacket.  The stitch work on the collar was amazing, and the pattern matching on the fabric was impeccable!

The third large exhibit was the Mountain Mist quilt exhibit.  It was fascinating to learn so much about the history of quilting by looking at the designs and patterns printed by this company.

There was a small gallery with some great modern quilts on display as well.

My favorite gallery, though, had to be the small gallery on the first floor showcasing the works of Israeli artist Maya Chaimovich.  I loved her use of color, textile, and movement.

I had a wonderful time at the Quilt Study Center during my visit.  The tour guides were knowledgable and friendly, and the quilts were amazing and inspirational.  I’ve never really wanted to be a quilter, but my trip to the museum may have changed my mind.  The have thousands of quilts in their possession, so I’ll be sure to stop in the next time in Lincoln to see all of their new exhibits.  If you find yourself looking for something to do on an afternoon in Lincoln, I highly recommend the Quilt Study Center – it is a unique and beautiful museum!  And if you don’t find yourself in Lincoln, then you can follow them on all their social media platforms – lots of inspiration available for everyone.

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Robert Hillestad Gallery

The Robert Hillestad Gallery is an exhibit room located in the textile department of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  Parking was a bit awkward, but not terrible during the summer.  Might be more challenging when school’s in session.  To get to the Gallery, you have to walk down a hallway filled with displays of the school’s research and student work.  There were some interesting displays discussing how historic garments go through a restoration process.  The Hillestad Gallery itself has constantly changing displays.  I was able to see an interesting textile display based on the use of lines, and contrast of light and dark to create images.

It was fun to see the Gallery, but it was not quite as impressive as the Quilt Study Center.  I possibly would have been more excited with a garment exhibit, though the textile display was quite beautiful.

Overall, I was quite impressed by the textile exhibits found in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Even more exciting, they are constantly updating and changing their exhibits, and with nationals slated to return for the next several years, I should have plenty of excuses to go back!  While I’ve gone straight to garment sewing since I’ve been home, I have been thinking about several great quilts I’d love to make.  Who knew that an afternoon adventure could be so inspirational?

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