The Virginia Quilt Museum showcases a variety of curated exhibits throughout the year. Exhibitions of both heirloom and contemporary quilts are changed every four months and feature quilts from our own collection as well as visiting pieces. Our normal exhibition season is mid-February through mid-December. The museum also closes for one week between exhibits.

Questions about our exhibits? Contact our Curator, at


May 30 - August 26, 2017


"World War I Quilts" 
Curated By Sue Reich

Galleries I, II & III

By the turn of the 20th century, quiltmaking was blending old styles with the fresh new ideas of business-minded quilt designers and pattern makers. 
But in 1917, America's soldiers went to serve on battlefronts in Europe and much of our nation's quiltmaking became centered on the humanitarian efforts to provide for our soldiers and the Red Cross. 

The Red Cross quilt is the hallmark quilt of World War I.  Its pattern was published by Modern Priscilla Magazine in December 1917, and combined quiltmaking with fundraising for the Red Cross war relief efforts.  Then in 1918, the influenza pandemic brought more hardship and death to America and the world.  To help curb the advance of the flu, our government put a ban on joining together in groups, bringing quilting bees and Red Cross work to a virtual halt. Ironically, the flu also contributed to bringing the war to an end. 

Our grandfathers and great grandfathers fought on the battlefields.  Many quilts exhibited in this collection give a glimpse into the struggles of World War I and of the benevolent contribution of our grandmothers and great grandmothers on the home front. 

"Pop Up Poppies" 
Curated By Gloria Comstock, VQM Curator and Registrar

Virginia Magruder Warren Gallery

Enjoy this  "serendipity" exhibit memorial. The association between commemorating war dead and poppies arose from the famous opening lines of Canadian army officer John McCrae's 1915 poem "In Flanders Fields", which begins "In Flanders Fields the poppies blow; Between the crosses, row on row..."

“Windchimes” by Fiber Artists @ Loose Ends
Galleries IV & V

Organized in 2005, the Fiber Artists @ Loose Ends encourages its members to explore new ideas and techniques by inspiring and nurturing creativity.  Members express their passion for the textile medium by sharing their work in private and public venues.  

The ten members created this eight-part installation, featuring the four seasons and the four elements of Fire, Water, Air, and Earth.  The eight pieces reflect each artist's unique style and individuality within parameters set by the group.  Notice techniques that range from traditional quilting designs to painting on silk to fused fibers that have been stitched and then melted. 

"Treasures From the Vault: Early 20th Century Quilts"
Curated by Gloria Comstock, VQM Curator and Registrar
Gallery VI and Hallway

In recognition of this year's Centennial Anniversary of U.S. involvement in the First World War, enjoy this diverse selection of World War I era quilts (1910s and 1920s) from the Virginia Quilt Museum's own collection.


"Something Old is New Again: Needlework of the 20th and 21st Centuries" by the Shenandoah Valley Chapter of the American Needlepoint Guild
Curated by Gretchen Janesak and Laurie Kelly
Galleries A, B, and C

The study of needlework objects, which have historically served both decorative and functional purposes, provides insight into our history and the everyday lives led of our forebears.

English and American schoolgirl samplers are familiar examples of decorative needlework that were prominently displayed in family parlors.  But at the same time, the lines of alphabet on samplers offered practice of the skill used to embroider initials on household linens to identify the owner.  Samplers recorded family events like births, deaths, and marriages.  Pictorial motifs portrayed the spirit and economic or social status of the communities of embroiderers who worked them.  Utilitarian purposes of needlework also extended to quilted fabrics that provided warmth and cushioning (under suits of armor); to embroidered bed curtains and valances for drafty bedchambers; and to needlepoint seat cushions providing the only comfort on hand-hewn wood furniture.

Items in this exhibit include family heirlooms, but the majority is needlework by Chapter members whose designs are consistent with the portrayed time frame.  These contemporary works of art are the family heirlooms of the generations to follow.