Famous quilter Marie Webster grew up in the Hoosier State, learning needlework and sewing from her mother. She wrote a book on quilting and went on to be the best-known quilter in U.S. history. In fact, her former home in Marion, Indiana is now a National Historic Landmark and its the only Quilters Hall of Fame in the county.
The world of quilting was changed forever after Webster published her designs in the very popular Ladies Home Journal. After great responses to her work, she began a mail-order pattern selling business. The hard work of the business was mostly done in the upstairs sitting room. Webster moved to Marion with her husband in 1902, and that’s where she penned the first ever quilt history book, called Quilts: Their Story and How to Make Them. Today, visitors to the Quilters Hall of Fame can explore Marie Webster’s upstairs sitting room, where her desk and displays of her work are found.
The Quilters Hall of Fame opened in 2004, after a 12 year restoration process. Marie Webster left Marion in 1942, and the home changed hands several times. Over the years, the home deteriorated until two of Webster’s granddaughters aided in the long restoration efforts. The house now has a huge library, flower gardens and even a museum store. It is currently run by a group of enthusiastic volunteers that make up the Marie Webster Quilt Guild. At the museum store, guests can purchase handmade crafts that were done by members of the Marie Webster Quilt Guild. The Quilters Hall of Fame honors more than 40 quilting legends and displays amazing work throughout.
The Quilters Hall of Fame is a great destination for a day trip from Indianapolis. It’s fun, educational and historical. Indianapolis kids love learning about the ancient art of quilt making, so it’s a cool place for a field trip or family outing too. There is a small fee for admission to the Quilters Hall of Fame, and it’s closed on Sundays, Mondays and holidays. Be sure to plan your day trip in advance so you can check out other nearby attractions too. Drive north to Wabash, Indiana and see the town where Marie Webster was born, and while you’re there, stop by the Doctor James Ford Historic Home for another educational adventure. Then you could head over to Peru, Indiana to see the International Circus Hall of Fame. The opportunities for fun are endless all over the Crossroads of America, so take a day to get away from the hustle and bustle of Indianapolis.
Some believe that quilting is a dying art, but people at the Quilters Hall of Fame beg to differ. There are more than 30 million quilters today, and the legacy will likely continue for generations.
Quilters Hall of Fame
926 South Washington Street
Marion, Indiana 46953