If you're in the Dallas area, you might be swept away by Quilt Mania II this spring! Seventeen cultural institutions in and around Dallas have collaborated on a wide variety of quilt exhibitions and related public programs from September 26, 2008 through April 1, 2009. Quilt Mania II is the largest known collaboration on the subject of quilts; if you haven't made it to an exhibition yet, there are still many quilt-viewing opportunities.

Quilt Mania II was born out of the enthusiasm for Quilt Mania I (2003–2004), which involved eleven area museums. With Quilt Mania II's involvement of even more institutions, "visitors are able to consider the whole world of quilts in a way that no one institution could do on their own," explains Project Coordinating Curator Marian Ann J. Montgomery. Humanities Texas awarded Quilt Mania II a grant of $10,000 in fall of 2008.

This round of mania features quilt exhibitions and programs centered on numerous themes. Flight Patterns: Flying Through the World of Quilts at the Cavanaugh Flight Museum displays more than a dozen airplane quilts and framed panels of quilt block with links to aviation. An exhibition at the Museum of Nature and Science displays quilts featuring the flora and fauna of Texas. The Crow Collection of Asian Art contributes an exhibition called Stitching the Seasons: Contemporary Japanese Quilts.

In case one exhibition isn't enough, a quilt crawl through several exhibitions is planned for February 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The crawl will visit the Crow Collection of Asian Art, Dallas Heritage Village, Historic Mesquite, Mesquite Arts Center, Museum of Nature and Science, and the South Dallas Cultural Center. 

For those outside of Dallas, a Quilt History Weekend is planned for March 6-8. "Participants will have the opportunity to see all the exhibitions that are open, hear quilt historian, Xenia Cord, share stories from her adventures as an antique quilt dealer, visit three quilt shops, and see a private antique quilt collection," states the Quilt Mania II web site.

Turbulence by Liz Axford, 2005. 62 inches x 60 inches. Silk organza, degummed, screen-printed, dyed, and layered raw wool roving, felted and stitched with cotton embroidery thread. Courtesy of the Artist.
Look Through a Glass Darkly by Jack Brockette, 2008. 40 inches x 40 inches. Free motion quilted whole cotton cloth with contrasting color threads, overlaid machine-pieced patchwork with 1/8 inche French seams, hand dyed silk organza. Courtesy of the Artist.