Take a stroll through the Steffen Thomas Museum of Art and look and feel – yes, feel – the newest exhibit, Hanging Beauties: Quilt Show 2018! The Lake Oconee Quilt Guild will display 69 quilts from almost 40 quilters until June 2.
“A lot of people make quilts as gifts and then they’re gone,” explained exhibit curator and guild member Linda Huggins. “So, we are lucky these quilts are what people had in their houses when we put the exhibit together.”
Different from other museum artwork, people are encouraged to turn the quilts over to see the distinctive backs or feel the textures and surfaces, though they will have to wear a plastic glove available at the exhibit entrance to protect the fabric from natural oils.
The colors and raised surfaces are as striking as the top designs.
“A couple people in the guild are professional quilters while others are beginning,” Huggins stated.
Looking at two quilts from different quilters with the same pattern but entirely unique color combinations, Huggins shared that both quilts were produced from a class offered by the guild.
What she found special was how a pattern can be personalized even in the method of stitching the pieces together.
“Today, there are a lot of new ways of quilting. It used to be done entirely by hand, but most quilting is now done by machine,” Huggins noted.
There is at least one quilt hanging in the gallery sewn completely by hand. However, people interested in seeing the quilts may be hard pressed to discern which one it is without reading the description.
Regardless of methods used, the quilts are truly works of love in the amount of time and dedication required to complete them, and they are on display for all to see and feel.
The Lake Oconee Quilt Guild meets on the first Tuesday of every month, except July and August, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Lake Oconee Lutheran Church.
They welcome beginners and offer classes for everyone to learn new techniques and patterns.