LSJ News

Bold art quilts on exhibit in history museum

Rambling River Art Quilters is bringing an exhibit of colorful and intricate art quilts to the Historical Society of Lee’s Summit Museum.

The group includes several area women from Lee’s Summit and Lone Jack, along with quilters across Missouri, who combine their creativity to make individual panels that are combined into one work of art.

About 15 women meet a couple of times a year to share ideas.

It started out when a group of women began meeting in 2003 to share their interest in creating art quilts, or fabric art, said Klonda Holt, a quilter from Leawood. The group grew and they started making “challenge” quilts.

Their first theme was a river, said Holt, a former Lee’s Summit resident.

Every member was given blue fabric, with dimensions of the square they were to make and the width of the river. Each was free to do what they wanted with their piece, as long as they used the blue fabric as part of the river, and used the dimensions given for the width of the river at the edges of individual squares.

The plan was to join the river sections together, creating the single work. River Ramblers Quilt Art was born.

Since then, the group has come up with other challenges each year, alternating who comes up with each year’s challenge.

Holt said the original members got acquainted through the Missouri State Quilters Guild. They started as small clubs creating art quilts, then began inviting more quilters to join.

Their prize-winning creations have been to quilt shows in Dallas, among other cities, and they’ll be showing at the Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival in Overland Park June 15 to 17.

Some of the artists, like Cheri Rabourn, of Lee’s Summit, also sell art quilts they make.

“I even have some in Japan and all over the U.S.,” she said. She said she likes to incorporate a lot of elements into her work, such as beads and crystals.

Jane Kennedy, a Lone Jack resident and author of a quilt book “Winter Trees,” said the quilts are an exploration in creating. Instead of relying on patterns like traditional quilts, the designs are much more free form.