Postcards: Texas Quilt Museum
The best little quilt museum in Texas set to open in La Grange
By Nola McKey
Housed in two historic buildings in downtown La Grange, the new Texas Quilt Museum is easy to spot. A bold mural on the west side of the taller structure—the 1893 Reichert and Kneip Furniture Store—announces the location with a finely detailed image of colorful quilts draped over a clothesline.
The 10,000-square-foot museum opens on November 13 and represents a longtime dream of Karey Bresenhan and Nancy Puentes, president and executive vice president of Quilts, Inc., which produces several quilt shows, including the annual International Quilt Festival in Houston. “We were determined that the museum would open this year, in conjunction with Texas’ 175th birthday,” says Bresenhan. “When you’re restoring old buildings, you just never know what you’ll encounter. We faced a number of challenges, but the solutions our dedicated local tradesmen and artisans came up with have actually enhanced the end result. All in all, it has been a rewarding process, and we’re proud that we were able to preserve these fine old structures in La Grange for future generations of Texans.”
The inaugural exhibit, Texas Quilts Today, also coincides with the recent publication of Lone Stars III: A Legacy of Texas Quilts, 1986-2011 by Bresenhan and Puentes (the last in a trilogy published by University of Texas Press that chronicles 175 years of quilting in Texas). The exhibit will include about 75 of the 200 quilts featured in the book; the remainder will eventually rotate into the exhibit following this year’s International Quilt Festival (November 3-6). While this first exhibit features Texas quilts made in the last 25 years, future exhibits will spotlight quilts from around the world, as well as historic quilts that date to the early 1800s.
As fifth-generation Texas quilters, cousins Bresenhan and
Puentes consider the museum’s historic setting a natural. Houston architect
Barry Moore, who specializes in historical-preservation projects, has retained
the adjoining buildings’ high ceilings, brick walls, and hardwood floors, as
well as many of the original railings, moldings, and other architecturally
significant features. The result? A stunning showcase for large works that
range from traditional patchwork quilts to avant-garde “art quilts.” The
museum’s grand opening takes place on November 13 at 1 p.m., at 140 W. Colorado
From the November 2011 issue.