Learning Instruments: Miniature Quilts by Barbara Caron

Learning Instruments: Miniature Quilts by Barbara Caron

Barbara Caron began making these small-scale quilts before she relocated to Lincoln to serve as the assistant director of the International Quilt Museum (2007-2012). Her work as an educator and her early years as a librarian are evident in the quilts. As small teaching tools, they are “… like the pages of a book,” says Caron—each one telling a story distinct from, yet connected with, each of the others. While Caron plucked many of the fabrics from her collection of scraps, turning her material selections into cohesive and precision-made miniature quilts give evidence of her skill and design training. 

More than half of the quilts are interpretations of bed-sized quilts from the IQM’s Permanent Collection. Others are of miniature versions of time-honored and favorite patterns. Caron’s quilts, along with quilts and quilted objects from around the globe, reside in the IQM’s Education Collection. This collection fulfills an important facet of the museum’s mission: engaging and educating the public about global quiltmaking practices. 

About the Quiltmaker

About the Quiltmaker
About the Quiltmaker

Barbara Caron earned a PhD in Design History and an MA in Design Foundations from the University of Minnesota, an MA in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an MPA from West Virginia University. In addition to her work as an author, quilt designer, quiltmaker, and quilt teacher, Caron has held roles in museums, universities, and libraries. 

Select Works in the Exhibit

Select Works in the Exhibit

Tree Everlasting quilt
Circa 2009
Lincoln, Nebraska
Cotton; machine-pieced, hand-quilted
Gift of Barbara Caron, 2019.012.0001E

Inspired by
Tree Everlasting quilt
Circa 1880 - 1900
Maker Unidentified
Probably made in Pennsylvania
Jonathan Holstein Collection, 2003.003.0166

Chinese Coins quilt
Circa 2009
Lincoln, Nebraska
Cotton; machine-pieced, hand-quilted
Gift of Barbara Caron, 2019.012.0003E

Inspired by
Chinese Coins quilt
Circa 1930-1950
Yoder Family member
Probably made in Holmes County, Ohio
Ardis and Robert James Collection, 1997.007.0775

Bars quilt
Circa 2009
Lincoln, Nebraska
Cotton; machine-pieced, hand-quilted
Gift of Barbara Caron , 2019.012.0004E

Inspired by
Bars quilt
Circa 1920 - 1940
Maker Unidentified
Probably made in Arthur, Illinois
Sara Miller Collection, 2000.007.0083

Bars quilt
Circa 2009
Lincoln, Nebraska
Cotton; machine-pieced, hand-quilted
Gift of Barbara Caron, 2019.012.0005E

Inspired by
Bars quilt
Circa 1890 - 1910
Maker Unidentified
Made in Wales, United Kingdom
Gift of the Robert and Ardis James Foundation, 2005.058.0001

Backgammon quilt
Circa 2009
Lincoln, Nebraska
Cotton; hand-pieced, machine-pieced, hand-quilted
Gift of Barbara Caron, 2019.012.0006E

Inspired by
Backgammon quilt
Circa 1950-1960
Lucile Young
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, US
Robert and Helen Cargo Collection, 2000.004.0156

Spider Web quilt
Circa 2009
Lincoln, Nebraska
Cotton; machine-pieced
Gift of Barbara Caron, 2019.012.0007E

Inspired by
Spider Web quilt
Dated 1936
Maker Unidentified
Probably made in Union County, Ohio
Ardis and Robert James Collection, 2006.043.0016

Bars quilt
Circa 2009
Lincoln, Nebraska
Cotton; machine-pieced, hand-quilted
Gift of Barbara Caron, 2019.012.0008E

Inspired by
Bars quilt
Circa 1860
Maker Unidentified ("AAM" is in the quilting)
Made in the United States
Ardis and Robert James Collection, 1997.007.0757

Roman Stripe quilt
Circa 2009
Lincoln, Nebraska
Cotton; machine-pieced, hand-quilted
Gift of Barbara Caron, 2019.012.0010E

Inspired by
Roman Stripe quilt
Circa 1915
Maker Unidentified
Possibly made in Ohio
Jonathan Holstein Collection, 2003.003.0284

Select Works in the Exhibit
Event Date
Tuesday, February 25, 2020 to Sunday, August 9, 2020