Quilt show kicks off Stitches in Time exhibit for February

By COLBY DENTON
Posted 2/6/19

The Museum Center at Five Points recently hosted its annual quilt show in conjunction with its Stitches in Time quilt exhibit to not only bring beautiful, quilted art to Cleveland, but to also spread …

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Quilt show kicks off Stitches in Time exhibit for February

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The Museum Center at Five Points recently hosted its annual quilt show in conjunction with its Stitches in Time quilt exhibit to not only bring beautiful, quilted art to Cleveland, but to also spread awareness of the beauty created through quilting.

Nothing beats cuddling up with a cozy family quilt. But not all quilts are made equally, as many are designed as works of art for display more so than for cuddling. It’s these quilts that make their way to the stage, and over 100 of these artistic designs were submitted to the Museum Center for the quilt show.

The event has run almost as long as the museum has been open. Each individual quilt is separated into different categories and then judged alongside the others in its category.

The Stitches in Time exhibit began with the quilt show and awards ceremony on Thursday, Jan. 31 at 6 p.m. After the show, the exhibit will run until Thursday, Feb. 28.

The museum started with 10 different categories of quilts, but pared it down to nine after consolidating the novice/youth categories into one. This means there are 27 regular winners, with first, second and third places in each category. These winners are followed by three special awards including Best in Show, Judge’s Choice and the Ruth Hale Viewer’s Choice Award. This final award is determined by the votes of the evening’s attendants.

Certain parameters were set for each category. Antique quilts must be over 50 years old; group quilts had to be quilted by three or more people; and this year, an “Other” category was added, which can include everything from clothing to bags and accepted all items that didn’t fit into the other categories. Several of the quilts were even designed based off Van Gogh paintings.

“This year we have about 30 more quilts than last year’s,” said curator of collections Lindsay Shirkey. “We’ve been less strict on the specific measurement requirements for submissions too, so this year we haven’t had any disqualifications.”

She explained how the quilt show draws out quilters from every corner of Bradley County each year, with new people signing up more and more as the event becomes more popular. On the other hand, the museum is also focused on attracting the interest of non-quilters through increasing awareness of the intricacy and art of quilting.

Shirkey hopes that non-quilters who come to the show can appreciate the time and detail that goes into making a quilt, and recognize the skill as the art it truly is.

There will also be a rotating quilt exhibit in the museum lobby, with the featured artist teaching a class at the end of the week on their style and techniques for an additional fee throughout February.

 Janice Neyman, Museum Center executive director, expressed her excitement for the event.

“We have an experienced and dedicated quilt committee who have been working for many months with our curator to present this beautiful exhibition,” Neyman said.

This year’s sponsor is First Tennessee Foundation, which is sponsoring both the Stitches in Time exhibit and the History of Sewing Machines exhibit that will be presented in the museum’s lobby.

The museum has increased programming associated with the exhibit this year and is even partnering with the Friends of the Library Association for a special event on Saturday, Feb. 23 called Between the Stitches, which will serve as a fundraiser for both FOLA and the Museum Center with profits being split evenly between the two. Music will be provided along with a “quilt turning” in which a different quilt will be highlighted throughout the day. Quilters will also be working at different booths during the event, and will be available to answer questions or chat.

According to Shirkey, Cleveland has a surprisingly large quilting community, and boasts approximately five different quilt shops. She added how people use quilting to pass down memories, traditions and techniques through the generations.

Admission to the Stitches in Time quilt show is $5 for Museum Center non-members and free for members. Those who purchase a ticket get free admission to the museum itself, and can reuse the ticket as often as they’d like throughout the month of February as long as it is presented upon entry.

For more information on the exhibit and show, visit www.museumcenter.org. You can also follow the Museum Center on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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