Courtesy of Sandy Spring Museum

"Blood on Your Hands" by Sandra Ealy

Quilts and the Stories They Tell

Sandy Spring, MD – Several dozen contemporary story quilts will be exhibited at Sandy Spring Museum in Quilts and the Stories They Tell. The exhibit runs from January 8 through March 12, 2021. Visitation is…

Sandy Spring, MD – Several dozen contemporary story quilts will be exhibited at Sandy Spring Museum in Quilts and the Stories They Tell. The exhibit runs from January 8 through March 12, 2021. Visitation is on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, and Fridays from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm. Reservations are encouraged.

About the Exhibit
While every quilt has a backstory, the creation of a story quilt begins with a message from its maker. A story quilt may include words, photos, non-traditional fabrics and embellishments along with more standard quilting techniques and materials. Exhibit curator Lauren Kingsland artfully combines the works of professional and avocational fiber artists in a single show.

The quilts tell personal stories of racism, love and loss, and relationships, and explore current topics like the right to vote. One featured piece, Blood on Your Hands, shares a heartbreaking story about depression and the urge to harm. “Something inside of her was telling her to kill all of the children, including her own, that were in her care at the time,” narrates the artist, Sandra Ealy.

“Modulation” by Lauren Kingsland Courtesy of Sandy Spring Museum

Take a close look at a quilt and you can almost hear the words of the maker, the fabric, and the purpose of this utilitarian work of art. But while every quilt has a backstory, the story quilt starts with a message.  A story quilt may include words, photos, non-traditional fabrics, and embellishments along with more standard quilting techniques and materials.

In this exhibit, we bring together the stories of a variety of individuals – master quilt artist Lauren Kingsland, her apprentice Grammy award-winning Cathy Fink, and members of the Uhuru Quilters Guild.  While the expertise of the quilters varies, each artist has the ability to tell a story in fabric in a unique and nuanced way, through choices of color, texture, design, and embellishment.

Ms. Kingsland will be sharing a series of personal story journal page quilts marking significant moments in her life as well as one of her newest works, “Why I Vote.”  Among Ms. Fink’s quilts is one about a song she wrote honoring a friend who died in the AIDS epidemic, an ironic project to complete during another pandemic. And among the varied quilts on exhibit by the Uhuru Quilters are those that respond to current events through the long lens of history.  Some of the artists have exhibited nationally, like one by Angela Lanier, whose work was recently juried into We Are The Story at the Textile Center in Minneapolis, MN.

In conjunction with this exhibit, several programs will be offered.


Due to county restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, visiting hours and capacity will be limited so that the quilts can be viewed in a safe and socially-distanced environment. Visitation guidelines will be in line with the county restrictions and will remain up-to-date at www.sandyspringmuseum.org/quilts.