'Signature Cloths' Opens Sept. 5

August 25, 2014

A new exhibition at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will shed light on the role stitched signatures can play in depicting the lives of the every person. "Signature Cloths" will open on Sept. 5 at Quilt House, 1523 N. 33rd St.

Guest-curated by British quilt artist and educator Lynn Setterington, the new exhibition focuses on sewn signatures as visual symbols and as a method of social engagement throughout history and today. With technology changing the way people communicate, Setterington's work will challenge viewers to examine how social interaction has evolved throughout the years in addition to showing the constants that remain.

"In comparing quilts of the early 20th century with her new work, Setterington reminds us that family, friends and community remain some of the strongest threads that bind us together as humans," said Carolyn Ducey, curator of collections. "Her work is thought-provoking and makes one think about things that are right in front of us and how they take on new meaning with the passage of time."

Historic quilts from the museum's collection will be displayed alongside new pieces created by Setterington.

Setterington will make two visits while the exhibition is on display. In September, she will visit middle school art classes. About 150 Lincoln Public Schools students will stitch their names into a collaborative art project, much like the ones featured in "Signature Cloths." The project will continue throughout the school year, using technology to link the Lincoln students with Setterington in her home in Manchester, United Kingdom.

Her second visit will coincide with the museum's Seventh Biennial Symposium, "Making and Mending: Quilts for Causes and Commemoration," in which she is an invited speaker. To learn more about the upcoming symposium, go to

Setterington is particularly known for her handmade quilts and Kantha embroidery. She trained in textiles at Goldsmiths College at the University of London in the 1980s. Her work is held in public and private collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester and the Denver Museum of Art.

For the last 15 years she has specialized in devising and coordinating a number of large-scale commissions and pubic engagement projects using embroidery and quiltmaking with diverse and under-represented groups. The new exhibition is the result of a fellowship that Setterington received from the International Quilt Study Center and Museum.

"This is an important exhibition to have here because it shows the long reach of the influence and impact of the (center)," Ducey said. "We have fellowship applicants from all over the world who add great depth to our experience of the quilt world. Setterington has a unique voice that celebrated the quilt as an expression of art and humanity."

The exhibition, publications and programming were made possible through funding from the Nebraska Arts Council, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment and Friends of the Center; and through the generous support of the Robert S. and Mildred M. Baynard Charitable Trust, the Mary Ann Beavers Fund for Public Programming and Outreach and the Mark and Diann Sorenson Fund for Public Programming and Outreach.