The Nicollette Room contains two quilts, created by Iowa artists/quilters. Some would not call quilting an art form, while others contend that it is a very old art form, brought by immigrants, who used the work of their hands to express themselves while creating something warm for their families. The quilt to your immediate right, All that is Perry was created by fabric artist Murray Johnston. Johnston, who majored in art history in college, was inspired to create fabric art after attending a Smithsonian traveling exhibition of quilts. From that moment on Johnston studied and created fabric art, particularly 20th century contemporary quilts.
Displayed on the opposite wall, Behold All that is Iowa, created by award winning quilter Betty Lenz, is more reflective of traditional quilting. Lenz chose the traditional pattern “Corn and Beans” because corn and beans are reflective of a large part of Iowa’s economy. Lenz also incorporated oak leaves, the state tree, and the wild rose, the state flower. Lenz said her quilts “happen as they go along”, rather than follow a rigid pattern. She said she designs as she goes along, beginning with the center of the quilt, then decides what she will do for the borders and appliqué.