Heirloom Textiles and the Lifecycle of Memories

Event Date

Thursday, December 7, 2023
10:00am - 4:00pm


Dates & times for December 2023
Wednesday, December 6, 2023 10:00am - 4:00pm
Thursday, December 7, 2023 10:00am - 4:00pm
Friday, December 8, 2023 10:00am - 4:00pm
Saturday, December 9, 2023 10:00am - 4:00pm
Sunday, December 10, 2023 10:00am - 4:00pm
Monday, December 11, 2023 10:00am - 4:00pm
Tuesday, December 12, 2023 10:00am - 4:00pm
Wednesday, December 13, 2023 10:00am - 4:00pm
Thursday, December 14, 2023 10:00am - 4:00pm
Friday, December 15, 2023 10:00am - 4:00pm
Saturday, December 16, 2023 10:00am - 4:00pm


Southeastern Quilt and Textile Museum
306 Bradley St.
Carrollton GA 30117


  • Entry Fee: $5.00
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Sometimes it is hard to imagine the journey a textile has been on. When was it made, who was it made by, when it was gifted to someone else? Sometimes a special piece is passed down for generations other times it ends up in a pile of unknown. It is sad to see a beautiful handcrafted piece sitting in a thrift store, but sometimes these pieces find new lives. In the Heirloom Textile and the Lifecycle of Memories exhibit, the Southeastern Quilt and Textile Museum is celebrating fond memories and the creation of new. Whether you find a connection to a person or a textile piece reminds you of another time and place, the works in this show will surely invoke memories.

Susan Lenz - General Artist Statement

Generally using needle and thread for self-expression, I work to articulate the accumulated memory inherent in discarded things. I seek a partnership with my materials, their purposes, values, and familiar associations. Memory, universal mortality, and personal legacy are central themes. Vintage and recycled materials are combined with meticulous handwork and self-guided, free-motion machine embroidery. I am drawn to textiles for their tactile qualities and often make work that is meant to touch and be touched.

The Cocoon is a large-scale fiber installation that transforms a gallery space into a temporary, site specific haven for storytelling. It challenges viewers to make a plan for their family's precious textile possessions. To create The Cocoon, Susan Lenz turned an enormous stash of vintage textiles, buttons, lace, doilies, and household linens into this double-sided enclosure. The soft installation functions as a public point of engagement, a safe environment for sharing family stories. The comfortable interior is a place to share common threads between people of all ages, races, and cultural backgrounds. It is a location for narratives from one generation to be handed to the next. The work pays homage to all anonymous makers who filled their homes with comfort. The work was created during a five-week art residency at the Rensing Center outside Pickens, South Carolina and was funded in part by the SC Arts Commission.

The Clothesline Installation (2020)

Once it was common to see clotheslines pinned with household linens and family laundry. Those days seem to be gone but linger in the collective memory of forgotten ancestors. I started this installation during a February art residency with the Springfield Art Association in Illinois. COVID-19 was just starting to spread across the globe. My original concept was to use vintage textiles and suggest a nostalgic beauty and ease (as opposed to some community’s bans as eye-sores) while subtly promoting energy conservation and other common sense reasons to line-dry textiles. Hand prints are immediately associated with “doing this by hand”. They question the wisdom of so many wasteful practices that promise convenience. Quickly however, my found fabric hand prints became a reminder to “wash your hands”. This installation grew during days of “sheltering in place”. People have donated aprons and table runners to the project as it continues to grow. The Clothesline Installation is a visual appreciation of taking care of a household and doing the tasks that are fundamental for quality living, especially during the dark days of a pandemic.

Bess Miller Memorial Embroidery Exhibit -  September 30 – October 28

Bess Zellars Miller was a woman with many interests with the love of family, friends, collecting, gardening, and the textile arts. She went through many phases of interest from quilting to embroidery and many in between. Her hands were always busy. In the 1970s, she became fascinated with embroidery, producing many samplers and scenes. She loved Williamsburg, Virginia and made several Williamsburg images. Her kitchen held several kitchen inspired embroidery panels and her hallway had a proud row of samplers. She worked with embroidery for several years, until her interests changed and she moved on to new hobbies. After her passing, Bess’s family divided her treasures with several generations, now having her hand made art to remind them of the great times they spent together. A reception for this show will be held on October 5, from 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.

Heirloom Textiles and the Lifecycle of Memories will be on display from September 30th- December 16th at the Southeastern Quilt and Textile Museum located at 306 Bradley St. in Carrollton. The museum is open Tuesday - Saturday from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Admission is $5.00 a person.  

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Near Interstate Highway
  • 20
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  • All Ages
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