- Associated Press - Thursday, October 8, 2015

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The colorful Chinese quilts on display at the Michigan State University Museum have plenty in common with handmade quilts from the United States: techniques of applique and patchwork, uses as bed coverings.

But just as American quilts reflect society, so do the 24 pieces on display in the new exhibit “Quilts of Southwest China.”

“The colors and the motifs are completely Chinese,” said Marsha MacDowell, who is curator of the exhibit, brought together by the efforts of both U.S. and Chinese researchers. “There just hasn’t been a lot of research done on these particular quilts, and they tell a lot about the communities they were made in.”

The MSU Museum is a center of quilt-related research, including www.quiltindex.org, which preserves images, stories and other information about quilts and the art of quilting, according to the Lansing State Journal (https://on.lsj.com/1GuHLG3 ).

Quilts in this new exhibit come from the collections of the MSU Museum, as well as the Yunnan Nationalities Museum, Guangxi Nationalities Museum, and Guizhou Nationalities Museum.

“These are just beautiful pieces. They look like little jewels, and I think it will surprise people that are interested in China that this is an art form that hasn’t been researched,” MacDowell said.

The exhibit will be in place through April, with curatorial tours scheduled for Dec. 6 and Feb. 7 and children’s activities on Nov. 1, Nov. 22, Dec. 6, Jan. 10, Feb. 7, March 6 and April 3.

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