Quilted Memories – Vintage Souvenir Quilts

This past March I signed up for a bus trip to the Art Institute of Chicago, sponsored by the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Art in Cedarburg. It was a spectacular trip! The exhibit we went to see at the Art Institute was entitled “Making Memories: Quilts as Souvenirs”. We enjoyed a wonderful tour of the quilts which were separated into souvenirs of places, people and events. Here are just a few of the fascinating quilts on display, along with the labels that accompanied them:

Sunday School Picnic – I found this quilt delightful. It really tells a story! And if you’d like to read the whole story click here!

Map Quilt – I apologize for the dark photograph of this quilt, the museum lighting is good for the quilts, but not great for my iPhone’s camera.

Quilt Show – the workmanship on this one really blew me away!

The piecing, appliqué and quilting were all extremely well done. Here’s a close-up:

State Birds and Flowers

This lovely example of an embroidered quilt was of great interest to me because I have a similar quilt in my collection.

My quilt dates to 1947 and was made by Lillian Heidtke in Wisconsin. The embroidery is very well done, but the quilting is minimal. The quilting on the Art Institutes quilt was very impressive, but I still love mine  🙂 .

I wish I could have shared all of the quilts. It was a spectacular exhibit and a wonderful trip.

I was particularly interested in this exhibit because I’ve begun a journey into memory quilts with a “modern” and “modular” twist. I’ll let you in on all the fun in next week’s post!

3 Opinions

  • Cheryl Parker said:

    Somewhere I have a booklet about the top quilt (picnic). Great quilt.

  • Joyce Egle. said:

    Thanks for sharing, Chris.

  • Bonnie Bergman said:

    I have embroidered blocks of the state birds and flowers, the same as yours, Chris. The embroidery in my blocks was started by my mother, and when she decided she might not finish them, she gave them to my paternal grandma to finish. My mother gave them to me in a bag while we were cleaning out her house for a move…I did not check inside the bag until after I got home….and cried when I saw them! One day I want to sash them and finish the quilt. I hope to have my daughter help me with it…and maybe my grand daughter, so the quilt will be worked on by 5 generations! I love the pink sashing on your quilt!


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