Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Quilts and Sweden

Are you looking for a special treat for your group of quilting friends?  There is a current quilt exhibition still showing until October 23 at our very own American Swedish Institute.  Just visiting the Institute itself is a fun and unique excursion.  But with the bonus of the quilt exhibition, you really should be planning a visit soon!

Quilting Art Today and The Nordic Quilts at the American Swedish Institute is a combination of works of local and internationally known quilters.  It covers everything from traditional designs on through contemporary art quilts, and there are a few clothing pieces included, too.  There are designs that are uniquely individual in some cases, as well as wonderfully crafted designs that are not uncommon in the quilting world.  You might not fall in love with all of them, but I'm sure there is something that will appeal to you and trigger a creative idea in your brain!

To make the most of your visit, you might want to try to go on a Tuesday or Thursday to get the benefit of a guided tour of the quilts.  You can use this link to get the times and details.  The Minnesota Quilters plays a big role in bringing this exhibit to us.  There are "live quilters" on hand at some designated times on Wednesday evenings and weekends, details in this link.

I have visited the American Swedish Institute (ASI) numerous times over the years, but hadn't been back since the addition of a beautiful new wing.  Now the beautiful old mansion is made even better with this new section in the modern Scandinavian style.  The Swedish gift shop and Fika, the tiny little coffee shop in the mansion, have been moved to the new addition and are open and bright. They serve really tasty coffee and cookies!  I visited about 3 weeks ago with my daughter, who is the person that started my trips to ASI when she was pretty young.  She went to classes and activities for children, and she loved it!  I guess having ancestors with the names of Hansen, Hanson and Larson, plus my own history of living in Sweden, plus blonde hair and blue eyes all worked in her favor!  She went on to go to Concordia College Swedish Language Camps, took Swedish classes at Gustavus Adolphus College, and returned to ASI as an adult to take more language classes and then took her first baby son there to ride the Dala horse!

Getting to ASI isn't hard, it's not far from the major interstates.  It's on the corner of 26th Street and Park Avenue, and a parking lot was added with the new addition, so that makes it much easier for visitors.  There is a small admission fee ($10) and you can find all the important visitor details at this link.

So, if you can take a few ideas to soak up some quilting and Swedish culture, you better plan your visit soon before the quilts go away!

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