Road trip to see the Quilts and Human Rights exhibit at MSU

Have you ever read the book If you Give a Mouse a Cookie? To me it's a tale of how once you start giving someone something it will lead to more and more! My version would be called If you Give a Quilter a Book! Once I received my latest quilt book for my birthday the ripples have been ongoing. I went to a lecture about it and yesterday my daughter and I decided to go on a road trip to see the Quilts and Human Rights exhibit at MSU.


Our car ride up there was about 4 hours as we had a 4 year old and a one year old with us. They were actually fine and they like to travel the same way I do. Frequent potty stops, snacks and naps were on the agenda.

Everyone needed to stretch their legs so we first went to lunch. See what I mean about traveling in my same style? Lunch was delicious and Henry only tried to escape to run into the street twice! Exercise with our sandwiches.

The only tricky part about the museum was securing a parking pass. Like most college museum-re-1campuses, parking is at a premium so you have to buy a 2 hour pass for two bucks. However, the museum is free and has great entrances and elevators for those pushing a double stroller.

I was immediately drawn to the exhibit from this first encounter. The homage to day workers, Mama's Apron, was a quilted beauty which featured buttons of all colors and sizes. Yep, it was worth the drive!


Can you tell how pleased I was to be there? Everyone was! The quilted conversations were boldly colored post it notes on which you wrote your thoughts and placed near the quilts.

They also had coloring sheets for children to use to record their impressions. Zara drew a quilt and explained her feelings to her mom who wrote them down. They had great areas for kids museum-re-2throughout the museum.

I would have driven even farther to be in the same room with the I want to Stitch quilt. I adore seeing pictures of quilts online or in books, they make my brain happy.

But to quote Hamilton, "to be in the room where it happens" was so exciting. My eyes were dancing with excitement and my body was delighting in the vibes from the quilts. It's like live theater, museum-re-3it's delightful.

This quilt is 3-D and entitled Mud Cookies. I read the artist's statement to Zara. Patricia Turner explained how with food so expensive and scarce, women in Haiti make cookies using dirt, salt, shortening and

When Zara drew her reactions she named her quilt Chocolate Cookies and hoped for better times for the children in Haiti. Art moves us all. If it can do that perhaps it can change the world?

Eric the Quilter's stunning Quilt for Equality I cropped to let you see some of the post it notes. He created it during the fight for marriage equality in Minnesota. The original he then gave as a gift to a museum-re-6couple who was finally able to marry so maybe art does change the world?

Have you also noticed the gorgeous colors on the wall? No detail was left undone. It all added to the enjoyment.

There were two community quilts in the exhibit. Individuals made the blocks which were then united as one quilt. Individual issues combine to make up part of the quilted conversation which was an essential aspect to this powerful exhibit.

This exhibit continues until early July. Then these quilts will move to NIU and become part of the expanded collection on exhibit there. I plan to visit it as well.

I just can't get enough of quilts!

Sew happy!

Want to see and enjoy more quilty fun? Check out my Facebook page. Like the page and join the conversation!

If you want to keep reading my blog, you can subscribe. There are two ways.

Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

Or, look for the square on the side rail. Just type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. You will receive a verification email. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

I have written a post which reviews the book and one which tells about the upcoming exhibit at NIU.

Leave a comment

  • ChicagoNow is full of win

    Welcome to ChicagoNow.

    Meet our bloggers,
    post comments, or
    pitch your blog idea.

  • Advertisement:
  • Meet The Blogger

    Kathy Mathews

    My passions are quilting and sewing. Add to that French, Spanish, books, swimming, travels, new restaurants, yoga and chocolate and you have me. All of these are best shared with family and friends. Except for chocolate, don't touch my chocolate. You can email me at

  • Recent posts

  • Monthly Archives

  • Categories

  • Follow on Bloglovin
  • Follow me on Pinterest

    Follow Me on Pinterest
  • Latest on ChicagoNow

  • Advertisement: