As your great grandmother sat around a table with fellow sewing enthusiasts, chatting about family and community affairs, piecing together scraps of fabric and cotton batting in a variety of patterns, they probably never imagined that their handiwork would one day receive its own museum. But today, quilt-making has acquired a distinct category in the canon of American decorative arts and scholarly efforts to document, analyze, preserve, and restore some of the best surviving examples now receive prominent museum resources alongside traditional objects of fine art.
The Texas Quilt Museum, located in a repurposed 19th century structure and a companion building in downtown LaGrange, showcases great quilt-making from across the country and around the world. The museum opened in 2011 and, rather than maintain a permanent collection of their own, founders determined to sponsor national and international traveling exhibitions of the textile arts throughout the year. The museum hosts a changing roster of engaging shows that feature antique and contemporary quilts and focus on themes highlighting subject matter, techniques, processes and concepts. Textile scholars may also access the museum’s Pearce Memorial Library and Material Culture Study Center where archived textile samples and documentation help analyze your great grandmother’s use of fabrics, stitch techniques, and creative design.
Visitors can also enjoy Grandmother's Flower Garden when visiting the museum. The garden is typical of what “city gardens” in Fayette County would have looked like from 1890 through the 1930s. The garden features four central beds with perimeter beds on three sides. Other components include a large quilt mural, a sundial, and a pergola.