Symmetry & Surprise:
The Kaleidoscope as Design Inspiration

Online Lecture with Paula Nadelstern
Friday • August 6th • 6:00pm CDT

Celebrated quilter, and member of the Manhattan Quilters Guild, Paula Nadelstern, will join us via Zoom for a virtual lecture on Friday, August 6th at 6:00pm CDT. Tickets are just $10 ($8 for IQM Members) and are available now!

Paula Nadelstern’s quilts have achieved international recognition for their innovative and complex designs inspired by the bilateral symmetry of kaleidoscopic images. Included in the Twentieth Century’s 100 Best American Quilts, her designs have inspired products including the vast carpet in the Hilton Americas hotel in Houston, TX, and were showcased in the American Folk Art Museum’s first one person exhibition highlighting the work of a contemporary quilt artist (2009). In addition to numerous awards, she has been a recipient of fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and The Bronx Council on the Arts. She is the author of Kaleidoscopes & Quilts, Snowflakes & Quilts, Puzzle Quilts: Simple Blocks, Complex Fabric, Paula Nadlestern’s Kaleidoscope Quilts: An Artist’s Journey Continues, Kaleidoscope Quilts: The Workbook and FABRICADABRA: Simple Quilts, Complex Fabric.

Here’s what Paula says about her work:

Kaleidoscope—the very word promises surprise and magic, change and chance. Exploding with visual excitement, a kaleidoscopic design organizes an abundance of light and color, form and motion into a complex and coherent image. My goal is to harmoniously integrate the idea of a kaleidoscope with the techniques and materials of quiltmaking. I try to free myself from a conventional sense of fabric orderliness, seeking a random quality in order to imitate the succession of chance interlinkings and endless possibilities synonymous with kaleidoscopes.

I make quilts on the same block in the Bronx where I grew up. Being a New Yorker wrapped up in the fabric of city life creates an inherent paradox contrasting the traditional image of quiltmaking as part of a simple, make-do, rural way of life with my own complex urban-shaped space.

Historians have suggested that the block-style method of quiltmaking evolved in response to the cramped quarters of early American life. My family’s living arrangement in an urban environment created similar considerations which, unwittingly, I resolved in much the same way. For over twenty years, my work space in our two bedroom apartment was the forty-inch round kitchen table. A long distance view, alternate space, or not making quilts were not options. I believe this reality merged with my personality and passion for fabric in shaping the direction of my kaleidoscopic piecework, causing me to rely on intricate detail and inherent symmetry, and to invent a shape that makes the most of limited space. My block style method is based on a pie-slice section.

Until I met quilts, I thought I was creative but not talented. To find something you love to do is a gift. To achieve recognition for it is a miracle. When I get overwhelmed by a longing for functional space, complete with an office and enough storage space so I don’t have to constantly reinvent the room, I try to remember this. Over time, lives change shape. In 2003, the second bedroom of our apartment was transformed into a 10′ x 15′ studio, complete with a door I can close.
Kaleidoscopic II: Box of Crayons, Paula Nadelstern

Friday, August 6th, Paula will join us via Zoom from NYC to share an online lecture about her artistic journey with Kaleidoscopic design. Tickets are just $10 ($8 for IQM Members)!

This slide lecture traces Paula’s evolving Kaleidoscope quilt series in which the multifaceted, luminous and random nature of a kaleidoscope is explored on a quilt’s flat surface.

Our online lectures and Zoom conversations offer unique insight into the stories and ideas behind the quilts in this exhibit from the Manhattan Quilters. However, if you’re wanting an up-close view of each quilt in the exhibit, you want to purchase a viewing of the Virtual Gallery Tour. It’s the closest thing you can get to seeing the quilts in person. The viewing fee for the Virtual Gallery Tour is the same as in-person admission—$6, or FREE for IQM Members.

Meg Cox Lecture…it’s not too late!

Meg Cox, author of the popular monthly e-newsletter, Quilt Journalist Tells All, and a member of the Manhattan Quilters Guild recently offered a wonderful online lecture in conjunction with our current exhibit featuring contemporary art quilts from the MQG. In this lecture—which she prepared especially for the Iowa Quilt Museum—Meg shared fascinating history about the Manhattan Quilters Guild and wonderful stories some of the artists who are members.

If you missed the lecture as it happened live, don’t despair! You can still purchase a viewing of the recording for just $10 ($8 for IQM members). Quilt guilds wishing to view the program as a group can do so for $75.

Virtual Iowa Quiltscape

Join us again Tuesday, August 24th at 12pm CDT
Meeting ID: 914 9813 9770