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.


Quilt Journeys:
Motherhood and the College Experience

March 18, 6 pm
Via Zoom

Kicking off with an enlightening tour of the quilt collection, this discussion panel explores what it is to be a mom attending college during the pandemic and, like quilters, piecing together parts of life into a harmonious whole.

Zoom link coming soon.

Organized in partnership with MSU Professor Dr. Claudia Montoya, World Languages and Cultures, and the MOSAIC Cross Cultural Center at MSU Texas.


Curator’s Clues

Go behind the scenes at the WFMA with curator Danny Bills to explore women’s voices through Quilt Journeys: Pattern and the women of Gee’s Bend quiltmakers.


Visual Voice

Explore the artist’s visual voice in two collaborative quilts made in the 1930s.


Paper Quilting with Grace Weaver

Click here to watch the video on YouTube.

Get inspired by the patterns in Quilt Journeys and make your own images with only squares and triangles. Activity designed and led by MSU art education student Grace Weaver.

Supplies: ruler, pencil, scissors, glue, scrap paper

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