Handstitched Worlds: The Cartography of Quilts





September 16-December 22, 2023

Quilts, like maps, trace the personal stories and experiences of makers and their communities, often illuminating larger historical events and cultural trends. Handstitched Worlds draws from the collection of the American Folk Art Museum, with examples ranging from traditional early-American quilts to contemporary sculptural assemblages. 

This exhibition is organized by the American Folk Art Museum, New York, and toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C. 

Community Quilt

Visitors to the exhibition are invited to contribute to our community quilt. Stitch a place in the cartography of Washington, D.C., that holds special significance for you. This project is made possible through support from Barbara Tober in honor of Dr. Young Yang Chung.


Support for this presentation of the exhibition is provided by Norma and Ted Lonoff, The Coby Foundation, Ltd., Corinne M. Berezuk, Elisabeth R. French in memory of Mary French Fingleton, and Tina M. deVries.


Multicolored rectangular quilt with star pattern

Nora McKeown Ezell (Eutaw, Ala.), Star Quilt, 1977. Image courtesy of the American Folk Art Museum. Photo by Scott Bowron.

Green collage resembling a bird's-eye view farmland landscape

Jerry Gretzinger (Minn., N.Y.), Jerry's Map (E1/N1, Generation 11), 2009-2012. Image courtesy of the American Folk Art Museum. Gift of the artist. Photo by Adam Reich.

Multicolored quilt depicting a map of the United States

Artist unknown (Va.), Map Quilt, 1886. Image courtesy of the American Folk Art Museum. Gift of Dr. and Mrs. C. David McLaughlin. Photo by Schecter Lee.

Quilt with vertical stripes in rainbow colors

Artist unknown, Mennonite Quilt: Joseph’s Coat, early 20th century. Image courtesy of the American Folk Art Museum. Gift of Karen and Werner Gundersheimer. Photo by Gavin Ashworth.

Quilt with geometric patterns in red, yellow, green, black and white

Artist unknown (India), Soldier’s Quilt, 1850-1875. Image courtesy of the American Folk Art Museum. Gift of Altria Group, Inc. Photo by Gavin Ashworth.


Video Tour