Museum in Golden acquires mini quilt collection

New Mexican woman donates 107 pieces from her personal collection

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Christina Millen Gravatt searched long and hard across the U.S. for the perfect venue for her collection of mini quilts.

And the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden met all the criteria, said Gravatt, a quilter from Albuquerque.

“I made these to teach with,” she said. “When you have created a collection this unique, it deserves to be in a location where it is cared for and can be viewed by future generations.”

Gravatt and her husband traveled from New Mexico to donate 107 miniature quilts to the museum. On April 27, she and the quilt museum’s collection committee gathered to review the quilts and learn about them.

The miniature quilts represent 200 years of quilting history, approximately from the 18th Century to the present. There is a focus on American quilts, but also has styles from the Netherlands, Britain, Sweden, France and Hawaii in the mix.

Each quilt is unique and historically accurate to its time period and location, Gravatt said. As a collection, they run the gamut of quilting techniques and different patterns, she added.

Gravatt, 70, made her first successful quilt in 1973. But she started making the miniature quilts for her daughter’s doll beds. Today, she has made nearly 200 miniature quilts and has collected just as many doll beds to display the quilts.

For historical accuracy, the beds match the origin of the quilt. Sometimes Gravatt found a doll bed for which she made a quilt, and sometimes it was the other way around, she said.

“And sometimes I had to have a bed specially made for the quilt,” Gravatt added.

The 107 miniature quilts that Gravatt donated to the quilt museum will join the nearly 600 quilts already in the museum’s permanent collection. The museum is expecting the miniature quilts to be ready for display and public viewing sometime in 2019, said Karen Roxburgh, the executive director of the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum.

The museum is thrilled to have acquired the quilts, Roxburgh said, because they will add a lot to the collection — both for viewing pleasure and educational purposes.

“This is going to be a dynamite exhibit once we get it up,” she said.

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