Special Exhibits


The Quilts of Carolyn Friedlander
Sponsored by Robert Kaufman Fabrics

Carolyn Friedlander is one of the most influential quilters today with her unique, original style. Her aesthetic draws on elements of art, architecture, and the history of quilt making. She finds inspiration in features of the Florida landscape, as well as in the architecture, history, and cultural identity of St. Louis, where she lived during college and her early career. Carolyn’s work examines the duality inherent in modern approaches to traditional craft: the intersections between manufactured and organic, experimental and time tested, machine pieced and hand sewn. She explores these influences and others for fresh ideas that will contribute to both the present and future of the craft.

Carolyn is proud to bring her individual process and aesthetic to the rich history and tradition of quilting. Her mission is to honor the art’s venerable legacy, both by creating original handmade pieces and by providing a roadmap for others to do the same.

Carolyn grew up on a cattle and citrus ranch in Lake Wales, Florida, where she spent most of her free time immersed in drawing, painting, and sewing. She earned a B.A. in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis. After a stint in architecture, Carolyn sought a different occupation that would allow her to be wildly creative and work with her hands. Though she had long known how to sew, she quickly recognized quilting as a new passion and set out to learn everything she could about the craft. She was drawn to bright and bold fabrics and saw a need for clean, modern patterns. In 2010, she founded her business, Carolyn Friedlander LLC.



SAQA Presents: Modern Inspirations — Art Quilts from the 1970s Through Today
Sponsored by Hoffman Fabrics

This special exhibit will document the rich history of the art quilt movement as it relates to the development of the modern quilt aesthetic. Thirty iconic historic and contemporary quilts by master artists from around the world is a feast for the eyes, filled with gorgeous art. This engaging chronological presentation demonstrates the development and continuing power of the art quilt movement.

The art quilt movement started in the mid-1960s and has exploded over the past five decades. Today, thousands of artists and collectors around the world are passionate about this art form. With the advent of the Internet, email communications, and social media, an ever-increasing expansion of the global art quilt community has developed since the turn of the 21st century. One of the recent outgrowths of the art quilt movement is the Modern Quilt.



The AIDS Memorial Quilt: The Names Project
Sponsored by Beyond the Reef

For many Generation X quilters, the AIDS quilt was our first exposure to memorial quilting. Twelve sections, curated by Mary Fons, of the internationally celebrated AIDS Memorial Quilt – the 54-ton, handmade tapestry that stands as a memorial to more than 96,000 individuals lost to AIDS will be on display. The quilt panels come from every state in the nation, every corner of the globe and they have been sewn by hundreds of thousands of friends, lovers and family members into this epic memorial, the largest piece of ongoing community art in the world.                                                                                                        

In a war against a disease that has no cure, The AIDS Memorial Quilt has evolved as our most potent tool in the effort to educate against the lethal threat of AIDS. By revealing the humanity behind the statistics, The AIDS Memorial Quilt helps teach compassion, triumphs over taboo, stigma and phobia; and inspires individuals to take direct responsibility for their own well-being and that of their family, friends and community.


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Modern Quilt Guild's Quilt of the Month
Sponsored by Pineapple Fabrics

Each month, Modern Quilt Guild members receive a free pattern, designed by an MQG member. Productions of the 12 quilt patterns from 2017 will be displayed in this exhibit.


QuiltCon Charity Quilts
Sponsored by the Modern Quilt Guild

The QuiltCon Charity Challenge is one of the MQG’s largest-scale charity projects. This year, guilds and individual members were challenged to create modern traditional quilts using a pre-defined color palette. All charity quilts will be donated to benefit a local charity.

Special Exhibit Tours

Mornings before the show opens, join Lisa Ellis, President of the SAQA Board of Directors, for an exclusive tour of the special exhibits. Learn more about Carolyn’s story, Modern Inspirations exhibit, the AIDS quilt and the MQG Quilts of the Month.