Whether you’re a fan of quilting, art, history – or all three – the Virginia Quilt Museum is well worth your attention. The museum features three full floors of exhibits, located in a historic house, nestled in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley.
First and foremost, quilts are to keep people warm – but there’s a lot more to it than that. Quilts have been around just about as long as cold weather. Over the centuries, quilts have evolved from a mere necessity to a thing of expression and community.
Quilting, itself, is an art and the resulting items it produces no less so. Of course, some quilts are more artistic than others. Some are pieces of history, an expression of culture, and so on. The Virginia Quilt Museum is a great place to see all these kinds of examples – and much more.
Visiting the Quilt Museum
The Virginia Quilt Museum does a wonderful job of illustrating why the quilt is so much more than just another blanket. Though the museum focus is primarily on Virginia’s quilting heritage, it displays a broad range of works.
The three floors of rotating, curated gallery space feature quilts from the Museum’s collection, as well as traveling exhibitions. You’ll see significant quilting by both early and contemporary quilt artisans. There are heirloom quilts, contemporary quilts, art quilts, and more. The broad variety illustrates just how many styles, techniques, and themes are present in quilts.
The museum serves as a resource center for the study of the role of quilts and quilting in society. It hosts a variety of workshops, lectures, tours, and special events throughout the year. One popular event, Quilt Evaluation Day, allows visitors to bring their own, heirloom quilts in for evaluation. Exciting!
The Warren-Sipe House
The Virginia Quilt Museum is located in the historic Warren-Sipe House, built in 1856. The first owner served in the 10th Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regulars and died in 1864 at the Battle of the Wilderness.
The house itself served as a Civil War hospital for the Shenandoah Valley and the museum has a Civil War history room relating to this fact. Some visitors even swear they have seen the ghost of a Confederate soldier in the house.
The house was sold in 1864 to George E. Sipe, a prominent local attorney. It was during his time in the house that it gained an attic, a first-floor kitchen, and many other beautiful features, such as the carved mahogany fireplace mantel and inlaid wood floors.
Over the years, the building has served as a city recreation center, home base for a historical society, and even a temporary court house with a jail cell for those awaiting their time in court.
Virginia Quilt Museum
301 S. Main St. Harrisonburg, VA. 22812
Open seasonally, Tuesdays through Saturdays, February through December, 10am to 4pm
The Warren-Sipe House may be filled with comfie quilts but that doesn't mean you can sleep there! Instead, for the best of comfort no matter where you are in the Old Dominion, consider staying at a Virginia bed and breakfast. When you stay at a Virginia inn, you're getting more than just a place to set your suitcase. Virginia B&B's are your best bet for attentive personal service, top-tier amenities, and delicious, home cooked breakfasts. So what are you waiting for? Find the best accommodations for your next Virginia adventure!