Doll quilt exhibit opens Aug. 6 at quilt museum


The International Quilt Study Center and Museum will exhibit examples of 19th- and early 20th-century doll quilts and antique doll cribs and cradles during the exhibition "Childhood Treasures: Doll Quilts from the Ghormley Collection," Aug. 6-Dec. 12.

Collected over a 40-year period from all over the United States, the Ghormley collection is one of only a few such quilt collections in the world. Mary Ghormley is a founding member of the Lincoln Quilters Guild and was a leader in the Nebraska Quilt Project, which documented the rich quilting heritage of Nebraska and resulted in publication of the book "Nebraska Quilts and Quiltmakers." Today, Ghormley is a weekly volunteer at the International Quilt Study Center. In 2005, she and her family agreed to add her doll quilts to the IQSC's collection.

Doll quilts are some of the most endearing of quilts. Made by mothers for a young daughter's playtime, they embody love and care. Young girls made them as they learned to sew. As Ghormley observed, "Perhaps the dearest of these quilts are those on which we see the childish imprint, youthful concentration in every stitch."

Programming associated with the exhibition includes:

* Aug. 6, 5-7 p.m. -- Opening reception sponsored by the Lincoln Quilters Guild, with special guest Mary Ghormley (free admission).
* Sept. 19, 2 p.m., Public lecture and book signing, "Childhood Treasures" by Merikay Waldvogel, author of the book "Childhood Treasures: Doll Quilts By and For Children." Sponsored by the Nebraska Humanities Council.
* Sept. 28, noon -- Tuesday Talk, "Ups and Downs in Quilt Styles," Kari Ronning, lead contributor to the book "Nebraska Quilts and Quiltmakers" and UNL research associate professor of English.
* Oct. 16, 2-4 p.m. -- Workshop, "American Girls Discover Childhood Treasures and South Asia."
* Nov. 6, 9 a.m.-3:30 pm -- Workshop, "Miniature Masterpieces by Machine."
* Dec. 11, 2-4 p.m. -- "American Girls Tea Party."
* Dec. 12, 2 p.m. -- Tea sponsored by the Lincoln Quilters Guild.

During this exhibition three rooms from the Kruger Collection of Miniature Furnishing and Decorative Arts, on loan from the UNL College of Architecture, will be on view in the Ghormley Reading Room. Each room features a 1/12-scale miniature quilt placed in a vignette with furniture and accessories. The exhibit includes examples of miniature Lone Star and Four-Patch style quilts, among others.

The International Quilt Study Center and Museum, 1523 N. 33rd St., is the home of the largest publicly held quilt collection in the world. Established in 1997, the center opened a new museum in 2008. The privately funded, environmentally sustainable museum houses more than 3,500 quilts, state-of-the-art research and storage space and spacious galleries. The center's mission is to collect, preserve, study, exhibit and promote discovery of quilts and quiltmaking traditions from many cultures, countries and times.

Tour groups are welcome. Call (402) 472-6549 for tour information and scheduling. Free public guided tours are available Wednesdays at 11 a.m. and Saturdays at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. For additional information, visit Admission is $5 for adults (over 18); $3 for non-UNL students with ID and children; $10 for families; free for children under 5, museum members, and UNL faculty, staff and students with ID. For more information, call 472-6459 or visit

Writer: Maureen Ose

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