Beatrice, Nebraska

Good morning, my friends. This morning we find ourselves in Beatrice, Nebraska, after a short day of driving yesterday. We're just about 100 miles from where we started our day. You know you're in Nebraska when you see a highway sign like this:

Along the way, we stopped at the International Quilt Museum in Nebraska's state capital of Lincoln. I'll tell you all about that in just a minute. As I mentioned in yesterday's post, we had no reservations for our stay here in Beatrice. There is plenty of camping available, but it's all first come, first served. I had a long list of addresses available to me, and we were prepared to drive around until we found something.

We started at the Riverside Park Campground, and we were in luck! What a great place! We have full hook-ups, and it's costing us just $20 per night. And let me just tell you, that is some cheap camping. The sites are very nice! We'll be spending three nights here.

And the park here is just lovely.

We'd left our previous destination early, trying to reach the museum when it opened, and because we wanted to start searching for a campsite early in the day...ahead of all those other RVers. Everybody was ready for a nap when we arrived. Smitty chose his window hammock.

Sadie stretched out on the couch. Truth be told, I stretched out there with her right after taking this picture.

Later, we got Smitty out to sample some of that Negrasska.

While we were out, I looked across the way to see this tree sporting its fall foliage.

There are lots of big oak trees dropping their acorns. The squirrels are out collecting them.

On the way back to the RV, I couldn't resist snapping a picture of this dandelion ready to spread its seeds. It's the tribal flower of military brats, of which I am a member.

Okay, so let's just talk about the museum, shall we? First of all, it's in a gorgeous building with award- winning architecture. There's some interesting information about its design and what it all represents right here. That link will also tell you something about the white sculpture. (When I click on that link, I'm required to scroll down to see anything, so be persistent if it seems as if it isn't working.)

I first read about the museum in the January/February 2016 issue of McCall's Quilting magazine. It is home to the largest publicly held quilt collection in the world! It was inspired by a series of documentation events, when volunteers gathered information on approximately 5,000 quilts by more than 3,200 quiltmakers. The result was the award-winning Nebraska Quilts and Quiltmakers, by Patricia C. Crews and Ronald C. Naugle. 

That effort captured the interest of quilt collectors and Nebraska natives, Robert and Ardis James, from Chappaqua, New York. They were looking for a permanent home for their own collection of over 1,000 quilts. Impressed by the Nebraska Quilt Project's research and the strong grassroots support of Nebraskans, they established an endowment for the International Quilt Study Center and Museum. It moved into what has been fondly dubbed the "Quilt House," in 2008, and expanded yet again in 2015. This sign is at the museum entrance.

Inside, the structure is lovely. This large open area was designed in the shape of the eye of a needle. (Click on the link about the architecture above for more interesting information about the building's design.)

The current exhibit left me feeling a little "meh." They aren't the kind of quilts I make or enjoy, but everything was beautiful, even if it isn't my style. I like lots of color in quilts, and these were fairly dark. Still, there were many that caught my eye, and so I'm giving you lots of pictures. I've included information about each quilt ahead of showing its picture. Some of them are followed by a detail shot. I don't have a lot to say about them, so just scroll on through and see them for yourself. This first one was intriguing. I've only just recently become familiar with "Kantha."

Here's a detail of the stitching.

I regret cutting off the top border of this one, but most of it is there.

Here's a detailed shot. This quilt was three dimensional.

I especially liked this next one.

All those little "reeds" were individual strips of fabric. Lots of work there.

I liked this next one too. I'm always intrigued by how different quilters accomplish the look of reflections on water.

This next quilt was two-sided, and interesting.

Here's a detail. The butterflies were three dimensional.

Here's another one with fascinating work to bring out the look of the water.

This next one was whole-cloth with some pretty fancy quilting.

On the third floor was this exhibit of some of Freddy Moran's Faces.

Here are just a few that were on display.

I like how she uses the most unlikely fabrics to create the eyes.

I neglected to take a picture of the information about this quilt, but in Freddy's world, "Red is a neutral."

I've seen this next quilt in a video documentary, and so it was fun to see it in person. It happens to be the most valuable quilt in the museum's collection.

Moving on...

There were more quilts, but these are just a few that caught my eye. I'll finish up today with a few more pictures from the zoo. These are the lemurs of the zoo's "Lemur Island." I do love the lemurs. We should all have faces like theirs.

And here's one more video from the aquarium. I wanted you to see how these swimming rays open their mouths and gills. It's fascinating to watch. (If you can't see the video, click on the title of this post to be taken to the actual blog.)

Okay, so we're here in Beatrice to visit the Homestead National Historical Site, and in particular, the Quilt Discovery Experience. I'll have to tell you more about it after our visit. I have more pictures of the zoo queued up for a separate post, and I'll get to that within the next day or two. For now, it's time for breakfast and to get a start on our day. We're going to make a quick trip into town for a few grocery items, and I believe we'll find a quilt shop there too. It's a busy day ahead. Lots to see and do.


Barbara said...

A visit to a museum is a search for beauty, truth, and meaning in our lives. Go to museums as often as you can. ~ Maira Kalman

Karen said...

Lemurs have furry faces or flesh faces. Learn something new every day !
Thanks for the smiling face of the sting rays. Cute.
Quilts are art... I have to remember that. I just love to create. Relax.

piecefulwendy said...

Thanks for posting the quilts that caught your eye, as well as the info on the museum building and sculpture. Lemurs are such amazing animals!

Julierose said...

What beautiful art quilts!! Thanks for the virtual tour...;)))
hugs, julierose

Anonymous said...

Although you don’t feel those quilts are quite your style, I think the ‘art’ quilts you have done over the years would fit in beautifully in the museum. Just sayin’!

Anonymous said...

Happy to learn you're enjoying Nebraska (slogan, "The Good Life"... something "they" came up with some years ago). Its great to have the quilt museum so close.. I recall when the permanent collections first started and were housed in NU's main campus library. You may be amused by our pronunciation of Beatrice, lol. Safe Travels, Annette in Omaha

abelian said...

Lots of good things in this post! I enjoyed seeing the exhibit quilts, and your favorites were also my favorites. The one I liked best of all was Sue Benner’s quilt. I took a class from her years ago; she’s a nice person and an excellent teacher. Dot

Quilting Babcia said...

The thing that intrigues me about lemurs is their penetrating eyes. That and their leathery facial skin. Thanks for sharing all the quilts, one of the first quilting books I bought many years ago is by Michael James, so it was especially nice to see one of his quilts featured.

Sara said...

I received my masters degree from UNL (in Lincoln) but have actually never visited that quilt museum. I’m so glad you enjoyed the zoo in Omaha, and suspect you’lll enjoy that Beatrice campground too.

Anne Kirby said...

Lemurs always look like they're just waiting for their time to rule.

QuiltGranma said...

Thank you for sharing these quilts. Love the sweet faces of the Ray's.

Shari said...

They had an exhibit of wartime quilts made from military uniforms at he museum when I was there a few years ago. One of the things I learned is that they freeze the new quilts they get to kill pests. Made me wonder about all of the Frixion pens being used on quilts today and what markings will come back years from now.

Tilly said...

What a stunning museum, thanks for showing us.

Shirley said...

Oh you are having a blast out there, seeing all things lovely places. I love Freddy Moran’s way of thinking: “picking colors that would really annoy the neighbors’ , it made me laugh.

Kate said...

Sounds like you lucked out completely with your camping site. The quilt museum looks like a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing all the quilt shots, it's always fun to see different styles (even if it's not your own). Have a great weekend.

SJSM said...

Not being a quilter, I did appreciate the skills and artistry in the quilts you showed. The building architect truly incorporated the ideas of the quilts eventually to be housed.

Perfect location and amenities for your RV stay.

Jenny said...

So many lovelies to see at the quilt museum. I was intrigued by the reeds, and the Reconciliation quilt is amazing. And who doesn't love lemurs!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Wow - talk about an interesting post!! So much to see and be amazed at from the quilt museum. How I would love to spend a day (or three!) there. And those sweet lemurs and the rays were such fun to see.

Vicki W said...

Than you for taking the time to share so many quilt photos! That museum is on my bucket list to visit. Love the lemurs too!