Beauty is, as they say, in the eye of the beholder. For centuries, people have asked, “What makes something art?” One can argue that a work of art is a creative work that displays a mastery of the medium and evokes an emotional response from those who experience it.
Quilting is a traditional art form that is prevalent in many cultures, including the Appalachian culture. For centuries, quilts have been used not only for warmth, but also as adornment and even as a method of communication. But what makes an individual quilt a work of art? Is it the harmonious blending of different fabrics to create a color palette similar to paint on a canvas? Is it the choice of the pattern – whether a well-known traditional design or a unique creation of the quilter? Is it the perfectly placed stitches, which showcase the quilter’s steady hand and prowess with the needle? Or is it the spirit in which the quilt was made, and the care and love behind the sewing?
The 12th Annual “A Stitch in Time” Quilt Show at the Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park may help to shed some light on the issue. Over one hundred quilts, now on view at the museum, display all of the elements that make quilting a unique art form. Accompanying the exhibit is a booklet with descriptions of each quilt and the stories behind their creation. Visitors can marvel at the technique and artistry of quilts both old and new.
“A Stitch in Time” is on display through May 31. Admission to the museum is $3.00 for adults, $2.00 for children ages 6-12, and free to children 5 and younger. Group rates are available for parties of 10 or more. For more information, please contact the museum at 276-523-1322.