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Dreaming of the Stars: The Briscoe Center's Astronomical Quilts! Block Challenge Collection

Exhibit on Display at Winedale, February 16–24, 2019

Winedale proudly presents Dreaming of the Stars, an exhibition of 28 quilts from the Astronomical Quilts! Block Challenge Collection, opening February 16, 2019. The exhibit will be on display at Winedale's Meadows Education Center beginning Saturday, February 16, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with an opening reception from 3 to 5 p.m. The exhibit includes a quilt block that was hand sewn by NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg while serving aboard the International Space Station in 2013.

Astronomical-themed designs and fabrics dominate the quilt blocks on display with stars and comets, rockets, planets, and galaxies; as do red, white, and blue color schemes and U.S. patriotic fabrics. One uses camouflage fabric, another features Elvis Presley, and a third pays tribute to the Green Bay Packers football team. A close study of these quilts also reveals a wide range of sewing skills. The majority of the blocks were made in the United States, but many others were sent from across the world including Russia, Canada, Venezuela, Norway, Ireland, Mexico, Uruguay, South Africa, Japan, Scotland, Costa Rica, England, and Israel. A video of Karen Nyberg quilting in space will also be part of the exhibition.

The 2013 block challenge invited quilters from around the world to make astronomically-themed blocks that could be used in a single collaborative quilt for display at the 2014 International Quilt Festival (IQF) in Houston. Nearly 2,400 quilt blocks were submitted, prompting volunteers from NASA and Quilts, Inc. to join forces and assemble the blocks into these 28 quilts that were displayed at the festival. In 2015, IQF founders Karey Bresenhan and Nancy O. Puentes gifted the collection to the Briscoe Center for permanent preservation and research.

In addition to the opening celebrations, Dreaming of the Stars will be on display Sunday, February 17, from noon to 4 p.m. It will also be open Thursday, February 21, through Saturday, February 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, February 24, from noon to 4 p.m. Later in the spring, the exhibit will travel to the Briscoe-Garner Museum in Uvalde. In the summer, it will be on display at the Sam Rayburn Museum in Bonham.

Winedale is a division of the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History and located at 3738 FM 2714 in Round Top, Texas 78954. For more information please contact us at 979-278-3530 or by email at