One thing we humans have going for us is our ability to adapt.
As weird as it feels (and looks) to cover my face with a cloth mask when I am in public spaces, I do it because reliable sources say masks reduce my chances of getting infected. As much as I miss hugging friends when we cross paths, I keep my distance and offer a namaste instead.
Also learning to adapt are the nonprofits I care about most—Quilts of Valor Foundation (QOVF), The Iowa Theater, and the Iowa Quilt Museum. QOVF resumed awards, most of them virtual, some in small gatherings, at a distance, with no hugging.
During the months of shutdown, the Iowa Theater hosted “Popcorn Nights,” serving bagged popcorn customers could safely pick up outside under the marquee. The revenue enabled The Iowa to make its loan payments. The theater is open now, but with seating safely spread out and many other safeguards. Capacity in the 150-seat theater only around 30, the popcorn as fantastic as ever.
The Iowa Quilt Museum (IQM), in the capable and creative hands of director Megan Barrett, rescheduled its annual fundraiser—The Airing of the Quilts—hosting it June 27 as an all-outdoor event. Hundreds of quilts were displayed outside all over Winterset and Madison County including at several covered bridges, City Park, the Madison County Historical Complex grounds, and from residential porches. The auction was moved online and did well. Though the event is over, you can see the quilts here via a wonderful, virtual, free quilt show.
IQM reopened in early June, with all recommended guidelines for safety in place. Masks are encouraged, and our staff and volunteers wear them. A plexiglas shield is in place at reception. Visitors who purchase items in the gift shop insert their credit card and package their items themselves. We wipe down door handles frequently. Our gallery is large, making it very easy to keep a safe distance from others.
A new, crazy-cool exhibit went up in early July, “Out of Control,” curated by Barbara Brackman and Deb Rowden, both of Lawrence, KS. Friends and collectors, Barbara and Deb have kept their eyes out for oddball quilts for years, adding to their collections of quilts that break the rules. As I say to visitors before they enter the gallery, “if you’re a quilter, you’re going to feel a lot better about your own work when you see these quilts.” Something went terribly wrong for the stitchers who made them. Undaunted, they carried on, just as we have these many months.
If you’d like to swell with pride about your own patchwork pursuits without leaving home, join our curators Monday, August 10, at 12:30 p.m. CDT via (of course) Zoom. Check out the latest edition of Iowa QuiltScapes here. Scroll down the page for more information about the exhibit and how to join the event.