Iowa QuiltScape for January 10, 2021

New Exhibit Installation

String Theory: String-pieced Quilts from Past to Present

Curated by Linzee Kull McCray

String-piecing, typically identified by thin lengths—or strings—of fabric sewn onto a foundation, is used to create quilts that range from the seemingly haphazard to the carefully constructed. The technique serves as a way to stabilize pieces that would otherwise be too small or too awkwardly shaped to be useful in traditional quilt blocks. Thus, string piecing is often thought of as strictly utilitarian, a way of using up every last scrap as expediently as possible. Indeed, the foundation material of string-pieced quilts often speaks to that mindset—repurposed newspapers and catalog pages, feed sacks, and brown paper bags can still be found backing tops that were never sewn into finished quilts.

WINTER Hours at the IQM

Monday – Saturday • 10:00am – 4:00pm
Sundays • Noon – 4:00pm

The Iowa Quilt Museum IS open to visitors and we welcome you to come see this fantastic exhibit in person. With an open floor plan, great ventilation, contactless options for transactions and heightened cleaning procedures, we feel that the Iowa Quilt Museum is a relatively safe place to visit! We know that’s not the right choice for every person, though, so keep reading for opportunities to see more of the Iowa Quilt Museum, and String Theory, in a virtual setting.

Virtual Iowa Quiltscape Series

Join us each Tuesday at Twelve for a live program from the Iowa Quilt Museum. Some weeks will focus on our current exhibit, String Theory, while other weeks will focus on various aspects of the quilting landscape (or Quiltscape) in Iowa.

Our first session, on January 12th, will feature Connecticut educator, author, quilter and descendant of Gee’s Bend quilters, Tangular A. Irby. Ms. Irby has recently released her debut children’s books, Pearl and Her Gee’s Bend Quilt, a heartwarming tale told through the eyes of a child who has spent hours watching her grandmother work her magic with a needle and thread. During a playdate, Pearl reveals that she too, wants to be a Gee’s Bend quilter one day, just like her grandmother. Proving to her friends that she has what it takes to be a quilter, Pearl’s story also provides a brief history of the works of art by her ancestors that are admired around the world.

Ms. Irby will chat with us about the book and her connection to the Gee’s Bend quilting tradition. The program will be held via Zoom so attendees will have the opportunity to engage in the conversation live with Ms. Irby. We’ll also tell you how you can acquire your very own copy of Pearl and Her Gee’s Bend Quilt from the Iowa Quilt Museum gift shop.

A 27-year veteran in the field of education, Tangular A. Irby is also the granddaughter of Gee’s Bend quilters Pearlie Kennedy Pettway and Jensie Lee Irby. Tangular Irby grew up admiring the beauty of the quilts gifted to her by family. Quilting became a way to honor the legacy of her maternal and paternal grandmothers, Gee’s Bend quilters, who passed on long before their creations were recognized as more than just a means to keep their families warm. Pearl and Her Gee’s Bend Quilt is inspired by countless family conversations over the decades and the artistry of Gee’s Bend resident, quilter, and relative of the author, Mary Leathea Pettway.

To Join the Zoom meeting, click on the following link, or type the Meeting ID into Zoom:
Meeting ID: 943 9573 5155

We will use the SAME meeting link for ALL of our Virtual Iowa Quiltscape sessions – each Tuesday at Twelve. If you have questions about how to join the Zoom meeting, email or call us— or 515-462-5988.

You’re Amazing…THANK YOU!

Thanks to the generosity of donors from across the country, we have successfully raised over $35,000 for our Second-Story Renovation capital campaign! We’re SO grateful for the outpouring of support from so many who value the work that we are doing here at the Iowa Quilt Museum, and also want to see our historic building preserved for future generations.

During a three-day warm spell in December, we were able to get our roof repaired and re-covered. We’re now confident that the interior work, which will start soon, will be protected. Take a look at these before and after photos of the roof and we’ll keep sharing updates on the work as more progress is made in the next few months.

Share the Iowa Quilt Museum with your friends!

Through the magic of technology, we can bring the Iowa Quilt Museum to your quilt guild, civic group, retirement community or any other interested group. We can share our pre-recorded presentation or even bring you a live program complete with Q&A if you so desire. If you know a program coordinator who is struggling to find material right now, encourage them to contact museum director Megan Barrett to inquire about dates and cost for a virtual program with the IQM!

Phone: 515-462-5988

Thank you for reading Iowa QuiltScape.
Please share us with a friend!

Iowa QuiltScape is a feature of the Iowa Quilt Museum’s periodical e-newsletter, and will highlight quilting events happening all around the state. The goal of Iowa QuiltScape is to provide a central place for Iowa quilting organizations to share upcoming events and help quilters and quilter lovers across Iowa reach a broader audience.
If you have an event you would like to share via Iowa QuiltScape, send your information to
Museum Director Megan Barrett:
If you’re reading this but it didn’t come to your inbox, use the Email Signup form on the top of this page to make sure you’re on the list and don’t miss out on any Iowa QuiltScape news!

2 Responses

  1. Sandra Whiston
    | Reply

    What are the topics for your next few lectures on Tuesdays?

    • Megan Barrett
      | Reply

      The schedule is still being finalized but on Jan 19th we’ll be visiting with Roderick Kiracofe, Siobhan Furgurson, contributors to the current exhibit, and Linzee McCray, exhibit curator.

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