Texas Quilt Museum

Last week my weaving friend Susan and I took a day trip to the new Texas Quilt Museum in La Grange.

We made a couple of stops along the way – first to the Copper Shade Tree Gallery in Round Top, to see their month-long fiber show, The Art in Fiber 2012.

The Copper Shade Tree Gallery in Round Top, Texas

The Copper Shade Tree Gallery in Round Top, Texas

The Art in Fiber billboard

The Art in Fiber billboard

I loved the diversity of the works, as well as the craftsmanship.  All the pieces were on 12″ by 12″ canvases, and it was interesting to see the different edge treatments that the artists used.

The gallery is not huge but it is packed with so many beautiful craft creations that we both took several leisurely circuits of the space, noticing new treasures each time.  The gallery owner shared information about the artists she represents, and then recommended another stop only 3 miles down the road —

The Winedale Historical Center is a group of 1800s buildings collected by Miss Ima Hogg.  They looked fascinating, but we didn’t have time to tour them on this day.  We were there to view the annual quilt exhibit.  This year’s topic was Making Do with Little: Cotton Sacks and Cotton Sack Quilts.  Quilts, clothing, fabric swatches and more were gathered into a large light room.  The docent was so welcoming and helpful.  The quilts were great, but my favorite things were the swatch notebooks.  As we turned the pages, we recognized fabrics that we had grown up with, in Grandma’s curtains or an old apron.

Star Quilt from the Winedale Historical Center

Would you think of putting plaids with flour sack prints? I wouldn’t have – but I love it!

Flour Sack Swatches

Do you see the Texas Heroes? Stephen F., Sam, and Davy.

This exhibit was only on display for 2 weeks, so we were lucky to see it. Photography was allowed, thank goodness, and they also have a website with lots of quilt images .

Then it was on to La Grange to the new Texas Quilt Museum.

Texas Quilt Museum, La Grange, Texas

Texas Quilt Museum, La Grange, Texas

Again, the people working there were so welcoming and informative.  The current exhibit, Texas Quilts Today: Selections from the Book Lone Stars III,  showed about 50 quilts.  Compared to the International Quilt Festival, where you can see thousands of quilts in one day, it was a small display, but on the other hand, we didn’t have to fight the crowds that attend the Quilt Festival.  We took advantage of the opportunity to look at the quilts in detail.  We enjoyed the diversity of technique and subject matter  – traditional patchwork quilts, applique, pictorial works with thread painting, embellishments, and more.

The museum as it is now is only 3 gallery rooms, but there are plans to add a “Grandmother’s Flower Garden” outside, and a library and study center.  No photography is allowed, which is often the case.  The book Lone Stars III was for sale, but I love to take my own digital photographs because so much more detail becomes visible when you zoom in.  Just one picture of the overall quilt is never enough for me.  Anyway, as a result, my only photo is of the outside of the Quilt Museum. Woo-hoo.

After all that viewing, we had to fortify ourselves for the long trip homeward.  We followed the docent’s recommendation for a good place to eat lunch – Reba’s on Colorado St.

It doesn’t look like much, and apparently if you accidentally park in the wrong place, the neighboring company will have you towed, but after eating there, we would gladly second that recommendation.  The staff was friendly and the menu had so many choices I could hardly decide what to get.  Fortunately it was long after the regular lunch hour by now so my indecision didn’t impact anyone.

I ended up ordering a croissant sandwich and fruit salad – the croissant was lightly crispy outside and fluffy inside, piled with ham, turkey, and melted cheese – and there were 10 kinds of fruit in the salad!  The only bad thing about eating at Reba’s is that now I will want to eat there all the time, and it’s an hour and a half from my house.  Good thing I will probably be going back to see the quilt exhibits that come to town.

Update from November, 2019:  The Texas Quilt Museum is only open Thursday through Sunday.  I was hoping that once the museum opened, related businesses would follow suit, making for a whole day’s worth of viewing and maybe shopping, but so far, they have not.  Reba’s is still open, and it is still good!