National Quilt Museum Paducah

5 minutes with Matt Collinsworth

The National Quilt Museum in Paducah is home to around 650 works of quilting art, all of them made in, or after, 1980, making it one of the best collections of contemporary quilts in the world. Opened in 1991, it was founded by quilting enthusiasts Bill and Meredith Schroeder to celebrate the work of contemporary quilters and bring it to a wider audience. Matt Collinsworth, former CEO, tells us a bit about its past and present. 

ECT: What makes the National Quilt Museum a must-visit for both quilt lovers and those new to the art form?

MC: First, contemporary quilts are stunning as works of art, regardless of whether they lean toward exquisite technique or toward bold expressiveness.  It's fascinating to think about how quilts moved from the bed to wall, from a foundation in folk and community arts to the pinnacle of fine art.  It's also important to note that, while most art museums around America and the world have struggled over the past decade to include more works by women, more than 90 percent of our museum's collected and exhibited works were made by women.

National Quilt Museum Paducah USA

ECT:  AQS QuiltWeek Paducah has been held in the city for more than 40 years  - what has the show meant to the city?

MC: AQS QuiltWeek is, in a way, the foundational event of the new Paducah. When Bill and Meredith Schroeder founded the American Quilters Society, they were also opening a new door for our community. They followed by founding the museum, and new life was breathed into Paducah's riverfront and downtown districts, culminating in the recent UNESCO designation. 

 

The words ‘honouring today’s quilters’ are written above the entrance to the museum

Discover our tour to AQS QuiltWeek Paducah 2025 here