Current Exhibits

12th Quilt Japan from the Japan Handicraft Instructors' Association

May 13th - August 9th, 2016

The exhibit 12th Quilt Japan features quilts from the Japan Handicraft Instructors Association (JHIA) contest.  The contest takes place every two years and is the largest quilt contest in Japan.  Well over 300 people submit artifacts for the contest every year.

The quilts in this exhibit represent the very best of this year’s contest entrants.  Museum visitors will see 32 quilts made by some of the most talented and respected artists from Japan and the Pacific Rim.

Read more about Japan Handicraft Instructors' Association.

The Gala of the Unexpected

April 14 - July 12,  2016

The finalists in this contest honoring the National Quilt Museum’s 25th Anniversary, these quilts reflect the innovation and creativity that have kept quiltmaking alive and well.  The top prize is $25,000 and will be revealed on April 18th, 2016. More about the contest here

The National Quilt Museum Collection

The National Quilt Museum's main gallery is made up of quilts from the Museum's own collection. Currently, the Museum has over 500 quilts in our collection. At any given time, 50-60 of these quilts are on display in the gallery for the public to view. The rest of the collection is housed in our temperature and humidity controlled vault.

Our collection is made up of some of the most extraordinary quilts ever produced. The majority of the quilts in our collection are award winners from regional and national contests. Others have been chosen for a number of different reasons including their uniqueness or their historic relevance. The collection is quite diverse, including quilts of many different styles from quilters throughout the world. If you would like to get information on the collection, the Museum produces a collection book with information on each of the quilts. The book is available through our online shop.

How do we choose the quilts for our collection? The Museum receives thousands of submissions for collection consideration each year. A collection committee made up of well respected quilters and appraisers makes the final decision on which quilts will ultimately become part of the collection. Only one exception to this process exists. Each year the winning quilts at the AQS Paducah Quilt Show are added to the Museum's collection without having to go through the typical process for selection.
We take great pride in the quality and diversity of the Museum collection and we will continue to expand it as time goes forward.

Purchase our collection book.

The Museum's collection became available online in partnership with the Alliance for the American Quilt through the Quilt Index. To see all of the Museum's quilts, visit

Oh WOW! Miniature Quilts

Miniature quilts have grown in popularity and sophistication over the past several years. These quilts are made to scale as any size quilt would be; they are simply smaller in scale. As a general rule, to be considered a 'miniature quilt' a quilt must be no more than 24 inches on a side.

The first reaction people have when they see these tiny wonders is "Oh, Wow!" Says National Quilt Museum founder Bill Schroeder, "No better words could describe this remarkable collection of miniature quilts. The more carefully you look at them, the more you will agree."