Sun. Apr 14th, 2024

The Quilters Hall of Fame, located in Marion, Indiana, opened back up this month with a brand new exhibit from the American Quilt Study Group

Every 12 weeks, the Quilters Hall of Fame changes their exhibits to promote different quilters and artists. The current exhibit comes from the American Quilt Study Group nonprofit. 

Deb Geyer, the Executive Director for the QHoF, said that the Hall of Fame loves promoting the AQSG due to their exceptional work in the quilting world. 

“The American Quilt Study Group establishes and promotes standards for quilt related studies, and they provide opportunities for the study, the research and the publication of works about quilting,” Geyer said. 

Founded by Quilter’s Hall of Fame Honoree Sally Garoutte, the AQSG currently has around 800 members around the globe. Each year, the AQSG challenges their members to study an antique quilt in a specific theme and create a new quilt inspired by the antique. The Hall of Fame currently displays quilts with the “medallion style” meaning the quilt starts with a centerpiece and has multiple borders surrounding it. 

Julia Blosser and her sister Connie Carmack volunteer and assist at the Quilters Hall of Fame answering phone calls, running the gift shop, and admiring the new exhibits.

The sisters have been investing in quilting since they were young and continued with their love of quilting by helping out with the QHoF.

“We were brought up in the quilting world anyway. Our grandmother had a big quilting frame set up in her parlor most of the time. And so when we’d go visit her, she’d give us needles and scraps of fabric and taught us how to quilt,” Blosser said.

 Blosser and Carmack both said they loved the newest exhibit. 

“It was very interesting how they were all older quilts and these quilting stars nowadays were able to miniaturize them and replicate them. It’s very amazing,” Carmack said. 

Aside from new exhibits every 12 weeks, the Quilters Hall of Fame also inducts a new honoree every July. 

“The public must nominate people and the selection committee every year chooses one honoree. To be selected, you must have a national influence on the world of quilting whether through books or through teaching,” Geyer said. 

This year’s honoree is Katie Pasquini Masopust, a quilter from California. 

One does not have to be a quilter to make it into the Quilters Hall of Fame, however. William Rush Dunton, Jr. worked as an Occupational Therapist for his entire life. Dunton’s inclusion as a Quilter’s Hall of Fame Honoree comes from his promotion of quilting to doctors and patients alike. 

“(Dunton) promoted quilting as an occupational therapy to other doctors in medical journals. So, he never made a quilt. He’s in the Quilters Hall of Fame,” Geyer said. 

Located in downtown Marion, the Quilters Hall of Fame holds some Grant County History. The honoree from 1991, Marie Webster lived in the home where the QHoF currently resides. Originally founded in 1979, the Quilters Hall of Fame moved to Marion when Webster was induced as an honoree for her quilting prowess. 

“Marie lived in this house in the early 1900s and she designed floral applique quilts, she sold kits and patterns and finished quilts across the country. And so she had her own little cottage industry here in the house,” Geyer said. “Her granddaughter was living in this house when (Webster) was inducted and she offered it to the Quilters Hall of Fame as a place for our organization.”

Blosser, Carmack, and Geyer all said that they quilt as well and really enjoy the art form. 

“They were utilitarian for so many years and the revival of quilts that happened in the 80s has brought all kinds of art. It’s just amazing what it has all come to,” Carmack said. 

The Quilters Hall of Fame is open from February to December each year with rotating exhibits every 12 weeks to showcase the art of quilting and bring some joy and history to Marion.

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