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A Kaleidescope of Color - The Indiana Heritage Quilt Show

Updated on April 20, 2015

The Indiana Heritage Quilt Show, like any other major quilt show, is a little slice of heaven for any avid quilter or quilter wanna-a-be.

Each year, quilters from around the MIdwest descend upon Bloomington, IN, for a three day quilting extravaganza.

I just had the pleasure of experiencing the show again this year. Here are some highlights:

160+ quilts are entered for show.

33 vendors from as far away as Oregon and Florida traveled to display and sell their wares.

20 workshops were available for avid quilting enthusiasts to learn new techniques.



Vendors range from general quilting supplies to specialty items like long-arm quilting machines, quilting books, specialty threads, sewing notions, and more.

Yards and yards, half yards, and thousands of "fat quarter" fabrics are displayed and available for purchase - the ultimate eye candy for any quilter.

Most quilters come away with new ideas, patterns, notions, and new fabric to add to their quilt stash.


Quilts Are Judged In Categories

While each quilt show is different and can have different judging categories, quilters that entered their quilts for the Indiana Heritage Quilt Show designated one of the categories below for entry.

Entries could be made by all ages and there was special judging for youth (under 16).

Bed Quilt: Any quilt intended for use on a bed.

Wall Quilt: A quilt that will only be displayed on a wall.

Appliqué Quilts: The quilt in which appliqué predominates over the other techniques used.

Pieced Quilts: The quilt is predominantly pieced either by hand or machine.

Special Techniques: Special technique quilts include but are not limited to embroidery, cross-stitch, embellishments, thread painting, whole cloth, three-dimensional work, and painting.

Fabric Art Quilts: Fabric art quilts include original work created as works of visual art.

Small Scale Quilts: Small scale quilts are proportionately accurate renderings of larger quilts and are limited to 30 inches or less on each side.

Mixed Techniques: Mixed techniques quilts include two or more balanced construction techniques.


The Indiana Quilting Heritage

In addition to the shopping, the workshops and the quilts displayed for judging, the Indiana Heritage Quilt Show and Bloomington, IN, came together to bring out the rich history of quilting in the Midwest.

Visitors to the show could hop on a shuttle that took them around the city of Bloomington to various historical stops:

1. The Wylie House Museum displayed antique quilts from the Wylie House collection. The museum was built in 1835 and was the home of Andrew Wylie, Indiana University's first president.

2. The Mathers Museum of World Cultures and the Glenn Black Laboratory of Archaeology (Indiana University) presented an exhibit entitled: "of Material Importance: Quilt Research". The exhibit focused on different aspects of quilt research.

3. The Farmer House Museum presented an exhibit that focused on both quilting and embroidery.


Quilts Can Be Enjoyed By All

While women have been the predominant quilters for centuries, there are men who quilt too.

Quilting can be a fantastic way to express artistic form and it can a wonderful social outlet.

Quilting bees still exist where men and women come together to socialize and stitch - often for a common good (e.g, creating memory quilts for Alzheimer's patients, creating quilts for the homeless, and creating baby quilts for struggling young mothers-to-be.).

Even for those who are not quilters, quilts CAN be enjoyed by all - both as an art form and as comfort during cold winter months!

Another related article of interest:

Are You a Quilt Stash Queen?

The next Indiana Heritage Quilt Show

The next show is right around the corner! It will be held March 3-5, 2016 at the Bloomington Monroe County Convention Center in Bloomington, Indiana.


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    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana

      Thanks, Rogene, for stopping by. I just went to the this year's show this past weekend - many lovely quilts. I'll have to post some of the pictures I took soon.

    • profile image

      Rogene Robbins 4 years ago

      Sounds like a wonderful show. I've never been to the Indiana Heritage Quilt Show, but I had a quilt in it several years ago. It's hard to send "my babies" off on their own. I joke that my quilts have seen more of the country than I have.

    • PaisleeGal profile image

      Pat Materna 5 years ago from Memphis, Tennessee, USA

      Kris ... I think what you said about the experienced quilters holds true for most hand craft artisans. A "Quilt Retreat sounds fun and it would have to be all warm and cozy.

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 5 years ago from Indiana

      @PaisleeGal - thanks for stopping by. Maybe someday you'll make the leap! You can start small:)

      I just went on a a quilt retreat where I was the "newbie" and was just amazed at how giving of time the women were and willing to teach those that were newer to quilting.

    • PaisleeGal profile image

      Pat Materna 5 years ago from Memphis, Tennessee, USA

      Great Hub and beautiful works of art you've created. I'm a wanna be quilter but not disciplined enough to stay with it. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 5 years ago from Indiana

      @moonlake - ooh, that sounds exciting! You'll have to let us know how that show was. I've heard of the festival in Shipshewana but have never been - I'd like to go sometime.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 5 years ago from America

      I'm heading to a quilt show on Wedneday in Madison, Wi with friends. We always enjoy going it's so much fun. I will have to tell them about the Iniana quilt show. They were in the quilt festival in Shipshewana. I didn't go to that one but have been to Shipshewana before. Interesting hub enjoyed reading. Vote Up

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I would be the "quilter wanna be" and I find these totally awesome. Interesting Hub!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

      This was beautiful hub and I am glad to know this from you. I learn many things about quilts here. Good job and thanks for share with us. Rated up (useful, awesome, beautiful, interesting). Have a nice day :-)


    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

      The quilt prints are amazing. Though there is no such thing as Quilt show in my country, the vendors display quilt on the roadside in the market place in Kathmandu, which is also like a show. It is always a wonder to see the intricate designs and patterns.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Kris, I would love to visit a quilt show, I have made several over the years and the different materials I have used each tell their own story, there is a lot of memories in my quilts!!

      The pin wheels are beautiful, thank you for a great hub and voted up.

      Best wishes Lesley

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 5 years ago from Indiana

      @ripplemaker and @KoffeKlatch Gals - thanks for stopping by and for the comments. They were gorgeous to see in person. I'll have to add this little extra tidbit into the hub but rumor has it that the winning bed quilt was appraised at $45,000 - amazing! I think I have a picture of it and I'll have to add it in this week!

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      What beautiful quilts. I would have loved to see them in person. Thanks for sharing. Up and beautiful.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi Kris, I am not a quilter but this show looks interesting. :) Maybe I'd get to see one someday. Love and light...

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 5 years ago from Indiana

      @Enlydia and @oceansunsets - thanks for stopping by. These were so fun to look at. The Rainbow pinwheel was on of my favorites too!

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hi Kris, I love these quilts! I am a fan of quilting, though only fairly new to it myself. I know enough to be thoroughly impressed when I see quilts like these. Quilt shows are great, and I love to see those that are true artists getting a place to showcase their beauties.

      The first one, the butterfly one, and the rainbow pinwheel ones all are my favorites. Great hub.

    • Enlydia Listener profile image

      Enlydia Listener 5 years ago from trailer in the country

      I love handcrafted quilts...nice pictures.

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 5 years ago from Indiana

      @anndavis25 - I have some of my grandmother's quilts that she made, they are such wonderful family heirlooms.

      I look forward to going to this show every year. I'm amazed at the artistic talent and the time that goes into the quilts.

    • anndavis25 profile image

      anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      I would have loved to see the quilt show. I have one on every bed as a top cover. A work of love in every one. I still use the quilts my mom made in the 50's. They certainly tell a story.

      A wonderful hub. Thank you for bringing up the memories.