(Joplin, MO) – Since the pioneer days of the American Midwest, quilts have been a cornerstone of Missouri culture, fashion, and tradition. In honor of our Missouri’s 200 years of statehood, the State Historical Society of Missouri, and Missouri Star Quilt Company, in partnership with the Missouri State Quilters Guild, teamed up to create the Missouri Bicentennial Quilt. Using one quilt block for each Missouri county and the independent City of St. Louis, the quilt reflects the unique characteristics of Missouri culture, region, and style.
The Missouri Bicentennial Quilt is traveling through the state during the bicentennial year of 2021. It will be on display on the first floor of the Joplin City Hall, Wednesday, October 27 and Thursday, October 28, during normal hours of 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
“We knew we wanted to do something truly statewide that would reach every county in some way, shape, or form even in a minimal way,” says Michael Sweeney, Missouri Bicentennial coordinator with the State Historical Society of Missouri. “A lot of these blocks are expressions of place and an opportunity to view them together and to put them in conversation was something we aimed for,” said Sweeney.
Quilt block submissions were judged according to whether they met criteria, level of creativity and craft, and description of significance to be considered as part of the quilt. The judging committee included representatives from Missouri Star Quilt Company, the State Historical Society of Missouri, and Missouri State Quilters Guild. Over the winter of 2019-2020, Missouri Star Quilt Company stitched the blocks together and gave the Missouri Bicentennial Quilt its final look.
As the Missouri Bicentennial Quilt travels around the State of Missouri, it provides viewers with a unique visual opportunity to learn about the geographic and cultural diversity of Missouri and to identify some shared traits that make Missouri unique in the nation. For more information, visit missouri2021.org and for a schedule of events and programs happening throughout the Missouri bicentennial year.
If someone cannot make it to see the quilt, the Missouri 2021 team has developed a digital exhibition for viewing at here.
Patrick Tuttle, Director
Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau