Jewel Box Quilters Guild Exhibition Featured at Grinnell College Museum of Art

July 11, 2022

The Grinnell College Museum of Art (GCMoA) is featuring the Jewel Box Quilters Guild Exhibition, which will run until Saturday, August 27. This exhibition showcases quilts of all sizes, techniques, colors, and patterns, designed and quilted by local guild members. The exhibition includes 87 quilts, ranging from king-sized bed quilts to small wall hangings and pillows. Thirty-two members of the guild have submitted work. This is the group’s first exhibition since a pattern has been set for all of us by the pandemic: isolation, stasis, discovery, emergence, and renewal.   

Museum Director Susan Baley believes this is a perfect time for a quilt exhibition. “For most of us, quilts signify comfort, and we could all use some comfort after dealing with a global pandemic for two years,” she says. “The community fostered by quilters is a welcome contrast to the necessary isolation many people have experienced since 2020. Although quilting bees are largely a thing of the past, quilters still collaborate and create a sense of belonging.”  

The Celebration Day Event was held on Saturday, July 9 the award winners were announced. Ribbon medallions were made by Karen Cochran and Susie Kinney and embroidered by Sherry Folks. Guild members were given three challenges for this exhibition: 

President’s Challenge, Jennifer Palmer, Book Quilt 

“I love to read more than I love to create quilts, and so I thought that a challenge for the guild members would be to create a quilt that reflects a favorite book. There were no restrictions on the type of book; fiction, travel, cookbooks, poetry, etc. I am excited to see what books have inspired the quilts in this challenge.”  

Award winners: Jean Reavis, Spider Web | Quilted by Jean Reavis 

Jean Reavis winner of the President Jennifer Palmer’s challenge “Book Quilt”, Charlotte’s Web.

Past President, Karen Clark, WIP Challenge 

“WIP stands for Work in Progress. During the pandemic, while we were forced to stay home, many of us kept our sewing machines humming. We were either making face masks or we were working on projects we had on hand. In my mind, a project is ‘in progress’ if I have fabric and/or pattern on hand and an idea in mind. It could also mean I have started something, set it aside, and picked it up to work on once again. It could also be something I have been working on continually over a period of time. My challenge is to finish a WIP.” 

Award Winners: Jeanette Copeman, Blue Radiance | Quilted by Lynette Heetland 

Tear and Share Challenge 

The Jewel Box Quilters Guild also held a Tear and Share activity, where each person started with a yard of fabric. That yard is torn in half, and one piece is kept, and the other half passed to another person. Members continued to Tear and Share until each person had seven fabrics ranging in size from ½ yard to a small square. The challenge was to make something quilted with those fabrics. The project can be any shape or size but must include all seven fabrics and be quilted in three layers.  

Award winners: Allison Utech, Island Dreams | Quilted by Allison Utech 

Additional 2022 Jewel Box Quilt Guild Award Winners 

  • Large Quilt Category - Jeanette Copeman, Grassy Creek | Quilted by Lynette Heetland 
  • Medium Quilt Category - Julie Grayson Fisher, Friends are Flowers in the Garden of Life | Quilted by Julie Fisher 
  • Small Quilt Category - Debbie Van Arkel, Spring Flight—Dove in the Window | Quilted by Debbie Van Arkel 
  • Miscellaneous Category  - Susie Kinney, Green Tea | Quilted by Susie Kinney 

Twisted Ribbons Raffle  

As part of the exhibition, the guild will raffle Twisted Ribbons, a 115"x 101" quilt that would fit a queen- or king-sized bed. Guild members pieced the quilt, which is based on a design by Elsie Campbell, and Julie Fisher machine quilted it. Raffle tickets are available through the Jewel Box Quilters Guild. Please send inquiries to 

Related Events and Programs 

  • Saturdays, July 2–August 27, 2–4 p.m. 
    Docent tours will be available. Learn about the quilts from guild members. 

  • Closing Ceremony  
    Saturday, August 27, 1 p.m. 
    Announcement of raffle quilt winner and Viewers’ Choice Award. Small Treasures for sale. 

Information for Visitors  

Grinnell College Museum of Art, Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, 1108 Park St., Grinnell. Information about the exhibition and programming available at: or call 641-269-4660.  

The museum is open to the public and always free. All visitors should use the north (campus-facing) doors to the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, and the museum guard will let you in. At this time, masks are optional; check the campus activity level for up-to-date guidance. Minors under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.  

Grinnell College welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. Information about parking and accessibility is available on the college website: Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations at 641-269-3235 or  

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