A few weeks ago I was skimming through FaceBook and found a fascinating video about the quilt collection of filmmaker Ken Burns being exhibited through the International Quilt Study Center in Lincoln, NE (click here to watch the video). It was so interesting I shared it on my page. I then discovered that the video was 2 years old and his quilts were currently at their last venue: the Peoria Riverfront Museum in Illinois.
The day after I shared the video my friend Kathy texted me to see if I’d like to make the trip to Peoria with her. So… this past Friday I drove down to her home in Spring Grove, IL and together we began our journey to Peoria. Here we are with the delightful gnome garden she recently created:
On Saturday morning we visited two quilt shops:
After making our purchases and a delicious lunch, we made it to the museum. In the video I remember Ken Burns saying that he makes his films for others, but he collects quilts for himself. He was finally persuaded to share some of his collection and what a blessing it was to be able to see them.
Many of his quotes were posted near the quilts and his insights were fascinating.
Another of his quotes (I’m paraphrasing) stated that they didn’t need to be perfect, and he didn’t need to know their history for him to love them ~ and I agree 😊. The first quilt I saw was a red and white Oak Leaf and Reel.
It reminded me of one in my collection. Mine is not in as good of condition as the one above, but I do love it.
I’m not able to share all of the quilts, but I’d like to include a few more of my favorites, with my comments in the captions:
I saved this next one for last because it has a story. Last week at our ThreadBenders meeting Carol Butzke brought one of her antique quilts. She said it was from Pennsylvania, but other than that she didn’t have much information. It dated to c1910.
The reason she brought it was that she had recently been to the Ken Burns exhibit and she was sure it is a sister quilt to one in the collection:
Carol is a quilt historian and appraiser, so she knows her stuff ~ and she was really excited about the probable connection between these two amazing pieces. The colors in the stripes have a bit of variation, but everything else is virtually identical. WOW! I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to see them both in one week!
On the way home we made one more quilt shop stop at the Quilt Corner in Morton, IL.
Each shop had its own personality and was worth a visit. Then it was back to Wisconsin. It was a fun time with a dear friend, and it was filled with so much inspiration. Thanks Kathy!
If you want to see the Ken Burns collection, do it soon. The quilts will be going home to him after June 5th.