Posted: June 27, 2014
The Spurlock Museum is a member of the Museums at the Crossroads Consortium, an organization representing 11 museums in Champaign County. One of the Consortium’s missions is collaborating on public programs and inspiring each institution’s patrons to visit other museums too. MCC’s latest venture is this summer’s Traveling Quilting Bee. Beginning this month, the Bee will travel to all 11 museums, and at each location the quilters will have the opportunity to buy museum-based quilt block kits, start work on them, and take some time to look around at the exhibits. Once all the museums have been visited, participants will be invited to a special afternoon where they can create finished pieces from their blocks to decorate their homes or give as gifts.
The Traveling Quilting Bee is open to participants age 5 and up, whether they are beginners or long-time enthusiasts. Instruction and assistance will be available at all sessions. The quilters need not attend all the sessions, and finished pieces can be made from 3-block, 4-block, 6-block, or 12-block combinations. The kits are $5 each and include not only the pre-cut pieces, but also background information on the designs. The Spurlock will have two block designs available. Both are adinkra patterns used by the Akan people of Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire for the decoration of cloth.
The idea of the Traveling Quilting Bee began with Lesley Deem of the U of I Pollinatarium, the University of Illinois’s science center that celebrates pollinators like bees. The connection between honeybees and quilting bees is a natural for this quilter: "This is the perfect opportunity," Lesley says, "for people to meet each other, learn more about a wonderful craft, and explore some of the gems of the county."
Here are the times and dates of the first four sessions:
- Museum of the Grand Prairie, Mahomet, Monday, June 23, 10:30–2:30
- Staerkel Planetarium, Parkland College, Champaign, Wednesday, July 9, 2:00–4:00
- Spurlock Museum, Urbana, Sunday, August 3, 12:30–3:30
- Anita Purves Nature Center, Urbana, Saturday, September 6, 9:30–noon
Contact the Pollinatarium at 217-552-6643 or firstname.lastname@example.org (email link) for later dates or more information. To learn about the 11 Consortium museums, visit the Museums at the Crossroads (external link) website.