Sunday, November 6, 2016

Visiting the Texas Quilt Museum

On Thursday I drove to La Grange to visit the Texas Quilt Museum. It was my first time visiting the museum, and I was impressed! The main gallery was full of quilts from my collection, 22 of them, all variants of the New York Beauty motif representing three centuries of great American quilts.

The main gallery is deep and well-lit with two levels. Quilts are hanging from the balcony, along the main floor, and in two adjacent galleries.

I enjoyed learning more about the history of the building as I admired the original brick walls woodwork throughout the space. The museum is exclusively for exhibitions. It does not maintain a quilt collection, but there is an amazing library with some rare fabric samples from the collection of Mary and Joe Koval.

It was an honor to learn my book, "New York Beauty, Quilts from the Volckening Collection" (2015 Quiltmania, France) is in the library. I also donated a copy of my latest book, "Modern Roots, Today's Quilts from Yesterday's Inspiration" (2016 Stash / C&T) and we had some fun pulling out other books that included quilts from my collection.

One of the other two galleries had an exhibition of works by Terrie Hancock Mangat. I was enthralled, especially by the large piece cascading from the back wall. The museum employed carpenters to creat the structure to support the piece. They were up for the challenge of displaying things that wouldn't easily hang on a wall, and that's impressive. The third gallery had Marvelous Medallions from the 500 Traditional Quilts book, another gorgeous display.

The "New York Beauty" quilts have now been displayed in a variety of venues across the United States and in France. It's always fun to see them in a new environment, and the Texas Quilt Museum is certainly a top notch venue. I hope this visit will be the first of many.

Only one copy of my book remained. Even though I realize it's been selling out in venues globally, it's still fun to see it in a shop display. The museum staff nailed all the other details, too, including the placards and the display of ephemera around the corner on the way to the library. Kudos to Curator Sandra Sider, Manager Julie Maffei, Librarian Jim Ayres and all the volunteers who made the exhibition possible.

I wished I could've stayed longer, but found myself rushing off to catch the International Quilt Festival in the afternoon. Friends were expecting me to show up. Although I hadn't planned to stop for lunch, I was an hour away from Houston and hungry. My iPhone led me to a down-home barbecue pit just a few miles away.

Pop's Pit Bar BQ is located in Brookshire. From the outside, I wasn't sure what I would find, but the sign said "Open" so I got out of the car and walked up to the window.

Right away I was knocked backwards by the intoxicating aroma of real-deal Texas barbecue. They don't have an oven in the place, just a barbecue pit, and they take pride in smoking their meats low and slow. I parked at a table on the front porch, and gorged on the best BBQ I've had in years!

So, I may have gained a couple pounds in Texas, but it was worth it. My visit to the Texas Quilt Museum, and the ride home, satisfied me in all the best ways. 


  1. Wonderful panoramic photos of the quilts and a great post, Bill. Could almost smell that barbecue. Sounds like really good times!

  2. It was lovely to see you at the Festival. Wish I could have seen your quilts at the Texas Museum. Maybe I'll get to catch them at another venue one day!