Pictured is an embellished Sudoku puzzle quilt by Virginia Ruffner, one of many local quilts on display at the Virginia Quilt Museum.

Madison quilts are on display in Harrisonburg.

For the next five months, a collection of quilts made by members of the Madison Quilters’ Guild will be on display at the Virginia Quilt Museum in Harrisonburg. The museum opened for the 2019 season Feb. 19 and the current exhibits will be on display until July.

Twice a year, the Virginia Quilt Museum changes the exhibits. Along with displays of art quilts and historically significant quilts, the museum features a selection of quilts from their permanent collection and a display from one of the 82 Virginia quilt guilds from around the state. The Madison Quilters’ Guild was invited to display some of the group’s handiwork for the 2019 spring exhibit.

Elizabeth Jacobsen-Snead, a member of the Madison Quilters’ Guild, said this is the first time the Madison County group has had their quilts showcased at the Virginia Quilt Museum and the group is very enthusiastic about the opportunity.

Guild secretary Becky Thompson organized the club’s exhibit. Participation was open to everyone in the guild. Thompson and a committee of three made the decision about which quilts would be a part of the exhibit although everyone that wanted to exhibit a quilt was able to participate. The Madison Quilters’ Guild exhibit is in galleries A and B on the first floor of the museum. Thompson separated the quilts into two groups, favorites and challenges giving each category a separate room.

“We are very excited to be a part of this,” said Thompson. “Our guild does a lot of challenge quilts and they tend to be a smaller size so we can display a lot more of them. We had everyone who wanted to display a quilt fill out a form, so we knew the size and type of each quilt. Then we were able to figure out where all the art could go. Everyone who wanted to display a quilt was able to get at least one in. We were able to get the whole show organized and up for the Feb. 19 opening.”

The Harrisonburg museum is in the historic Warren-Sipe house. The 19th century home was once owned by a direct descendant of Thomas Harrison, the founding father of Harrisonburg. The house served as a hospital during the Civil War, private residence and a temporary courthouse before becoming home to the Virginia Quilt Museum.

Susan Farmer, executive director of the Virginia Quilt Museum, is excited about the 2019 season. Farmer said the museum has worked to have a wide range of quilts on display. The spring exhibit has a group of contemporary art quilts, a collection from Barbara Cline and Virginia Stars, quilts from the permanent collection featuring a star pattern and favorites and challenges from the Madison County Quilters’ Guild.

“We strive to have everything from art to historically significant to locally produced quilts on display here,” said Farmer. “Our mission is to celebrate Virginia’s quilting traditions and the spring exhibits show different aspects of quilts and quilting. Barbara Cline and members of the Madison Guild [gave] talks on Feb. 23 for our meet and greet to kick off the new exhibits.”

The museum is open Tuesday- Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. General admission is $8. Military, both active and retired, first responders and senior citizens are $7. Students presenting a valid school ID are $5 and children under 12 and members of the Virginia Quilt Museum are free.

The Madison Quilters’ Guild meets the second and fourth Monday of each month at the Madison Presbyterian Church on Fishback Rd. from 7 to 9 p.m. and guests and potential new members are always welcome.

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