My last stop on my way north to visit family was in Paducah, Kentucky. Its a small town nestled in a curve of the Mississippi River, but it does have one claim to fame: an absolutely brilliant quilt museum. Housed in a new purpose-built building, it holds a beautiful array of the quilts of today.
Quilting has long been established as folk art, and as such, you can chronicle the changes over time of the way people live. You also can trace the places where people live by the quilts they make. The style and fabric of a quilt varies with time and place. In the past, of course, all quilts were pieced by hand, and then hand quilted, and the fabrics used were often ones that had already been used for some other purpose. Patchwork quilts were made from all the scraps from other sewing projects, for example. Today, in the 21st. century, most quilts are created on machines. You may find some people who piece them together by hand, and then the quilting is done by machine, but many of today’s quilts are completely done by machine. This may offend some purists, but as I said above, quilts have always represented their culture.