Revived Exhibition Celebrates Kit Quilts

The International Quilt Study Center & Museum is pleased to announce “Modern Marvels: Quilts Made from Kits, 1915-1950,” will make its Quilt House debut in June.

“We’re excited to share some excellent examples of this very popular style with our visitors,” said Marin Hanson, IQSCM Curator of Exhibitions. “Quilts made from kits are recognized as a hallmark of the early 20th century, an era when quiltmaking was at a zenith. Many people today still remember older relatives making quilts, a great number of which were likely made from commercially produced kits.”

In the 1920s and 1930s, quilt kits were new on the market and seen as a modern, time-saving way to make well-designed bedcoverings. Kits included ready-made sets of die-cut pieces for applique and pieced quilts.

“Modern Marvels: Quilts Made from Kits” features some of the designers, companies and publications that were well-known for their kits during this time period. The exhibition will include pieces from Marie Webster, Anne Orr and other famed designers from the era.

The revived exhibition will include a mix of pieces from the original exhibition, which originally ran in 2003, along with never-before displayed pieces, such as a Hubert ver Mehren Royal Aster quilt created by Nebraska Quiltmaker Julia Maude Marsh Smith in 1935.

While quilt kits came to prominence in the early 20th century, kits continue to be manufactured, today through fabric shops, catalogs, crafting websites and more.

“If you go on any craft or DIY site today, you will find an array of quilt kits for sale,” Hanson said. “Some of these kits are in newer, more modern styles, but many of them are revivals of classic patterns that would have been popular 80 or 100 years ago. Using a kit is still seen as a convenient way to make a well-designed, attractive bedcovering.”

“Modern Marvels: Quilts Made from Kits” will open on June 6 at the IQSCM.