“Flower Power,” curved patchwork wall hanging, 70” x 85”, by Joy Yoder Hess, 2001.

Quilts from College Mennonite Church on display in Good Library Gallery

An exhibit featuring 30 full-size quilts, crib quilts and quilted wall-hangings made by women and men who attend College Mennonite Church (CMC) will be on display in the Goshen College Good Library Gallery from Aug. 23 through Nov. 15, 2020.

Off-campus visitors should schedule their visit in advance by contacting the Mennonite Historical Library (574-535-7418 or mhl@goshen.edu).* General campus health precautions require the use of face masks, and all visitors should self-screen prior to coming to campus.

The traditional and creative designs reflect the longstanding quilt culture of the congregation in its historic and ever-renewed expression. This exhibit is sponsored by the Mennonite-Amish Museum committee at Goshen College.

According to the curators, these are not “your grandmother’s quilts”—although they belong in the long tradition of quilting culture at College Mennonite Church (CMC), founded in 1903.

The first record of College Mennonite Church’s “Sewing Circle” dates from 1909, although the sisters in the church would have been quilting before then. By 1925 the group had formed committees, one named the “Quilt and Comforter” committee, which made quilts for missionaries and missions, as well as bedding for Goshen College dormitories. During World War II quilts went to foreign relief efforts, which continued postwar with the Mennonite Central Committee. Since 1968, CMC’s Mennonite Women group also makes quilts that they donate to the Michiana Mennonite Relief Sale.

Some of the quilters in this exhibit also help with the communal quilt-making by Mennonite Women, for charity. However, the quilts shown here (including three by men) reflect more individualistic interests, the effects of marketing quilts to the public, and innovations in quilting made possible by new technologies.

The Good Library Gallery, located on the lower level of the Harold and Wilma Good Library on the campus of Goshen College. It features intercultural exhibits and exhibits sponsored by the college’s Mennonite-Amish Museum Committee. Learn more at goshen.edu/librarygallery.

*Off-campus visitors are welcome in groups of four or fewer people at a time. Current GC employees and students may visit the exhibit at any time Good Library is open.