the childress collection

The Childress Collection contains approximately 200 quilts collected by Marjorie Childress since 2000, and continues to grow.  You can find the collection and Marjorie in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The emphasis is 20th century quilts, but there are some older quilts as well. The oldest quilt in the collection was created in 1824.

The collection is principally organized through the lens of design and narrative, with an emphasis on improvisation, culture, and remembrance. Groupings include quilts of the 1960s-1970s, and quilts made of clothing, wool, and denim, often patched.

Quilts from the collection have been included in several notable books in recent years, including:

Four quilts featured in Unconventional & Unexpected: American Quilts Below the Radar, 1950-2000 by Roderick Kiracofe.   Two quilts from the collection are featured prominently, one on the back cover, and one–affectionately known as the “cow quilt”–on the back dust jacket of the book.  Kiracofe later featured the cow quilt in an exhibit at the San Jose Museum of Quilts, called Found/Made, along with one other quilt from the collection.

One quilt featured in the Second Edition of American Quilts: The Democratic Art by Robert Shaw.

The 1975 Equality Quilt Top is featured in Quilts and Human Rights from Marsha MacDowell, Mary Worrall, Lynne Swanson, and Beth Donaldson, published by the University of Nebraska Press. This quilt top is an epic example of how the women’s movement infused the quilt revival of the 1970s.