Quilt Journeys: Pattern

January 30-July 24, 2021

Drunkard’s Path Pattern, Quilt, n.d; Gift of J.I. Staley.

About the Exhibition

Quilting may date back as far as 3400 BCE and is still evolving today. 

From Colonial quilts through the Industrial revolution, to the Abolitionist movement into the Crazy Quilt era of the 19th century, and from the thousands of quilts made in the 1940s and 1950s from printed farm feed sacks to contemporary experimentation with materials that redefine what a quilt can be, the quilting journey offers a rich history that includes patterns, stories, and collaboration.

More often than not, a quilt tells a story. It can be an obvious story based on images or words sewn into the fabric, but sometimes it requires insider knowledge or perhaps historical and geographical context about the quilt patterns in order to ponder what the author or quilter is saying. A pattern’s origin, use, and symbolism – and sometimes lore – embody and communicate meaning that can be tied to tradition, activism, or experience.

Join the WFMA on this journey, starting with pattern in 20th century quilts from the WFMA Permanent Collection.

This exhibition is made possible by MSU Texas with support from the Museum Trust Fund and by individual donors to Texoma Gives and the Museum Annual Fund.

Take the Journey

What do you know about the origin, use, or symbolism

of the patterns in this exhibition?

If you have quilted one of these patterns, why did you choose it?

If you use a quilt with one of these patterns, what does it communicate to you?

Add to the #wfmaquiltjourney by sharing your story and knowledge.