Design Motif of Sochi Winter Olympics Puts Quilting on a Global Stage, Draws on Rich Russian Craft Traditions

PADUCAH, Ky., Feb. 13, 2014 /Emag.co.uk/ — Olympics organizers in Russia have settled on a motif that symbolizes the nation’s diversity and character: the patchwork quilt.  Quilting is a highly popular art form enjoyed by millions of people. In the United States alone there are over 21 million active quilters. 

In the United States, The National Quilt Museum (http://www.quiltmuseum.org) in Paducah, Kentucky works to promote the art form around the globe. Considered by many to be “the mecca” of quilting, the Museum works to bring quilting to the world through exhibition, education, and advocacy efforts. 

The Museum staff is overjoyed that quilting was honored in this way at the Olympics.

“We are very happy to see that these wonderful patchwork quilt designs are going to be part of the motif of the Sochi games. They are beautiful designs and a wonderful expression of the art form,” explained Frank Bennett, CEO of the National Quilt Museum. “The Sochi patchwork quilt motif is shining a light on the extraordinary art of quilting. The Sochi designs evoke strong emotions and a feeling of connectedness. They are a great representation of the art form.”

Design firm Bosco created the patchwork quilt design for the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. As a whole, the motif communicates the values that are important throughout Russia: family, culture and tradition.

Russian calico, Rakulka and Mezen painting, Kuban patterns and Vologda lacework are just a few of the aesthetic traditions featured on the patchwork quilt motif. The color gradation of the quilt evokes the Olympic Rings, while the incorporation of so many unique styles speaks to the multiculturalism that characterizes the games.

In addition to the games’ branding and signage, the patchwork motif will also feature prominently on the Olympic medals. A record 1,300 medals have been fabricated for these Winter Olympics, the first to be held in Russia.

Quilting as an art form presents an enormous spectrum of possibilities. The work of the National Quilt Museum is to introduce visitors to some of these possibilities and ideally change how people think of quilting. “People that are unfamiliar with the art form come in thinking of what they had on their beds as kids, but comparing the bed quilts they have seen to the work of today’s quilt artists is like comparing lightning to a lightning bug,” Bennett states.

The National Quilt Museum features a rotation of 8 to 10 exhibits each year in its three galleries. Notable upcoming exhibits in 2014 include Distortion (from the European Patchwork Meeting) and Master Pieces: Quilts of Inspiration. The complete exhibit schedule is available here: http://www.quiltmuseum.org/upcoming-exhibits.html.

The Sochi Winter Olympics patchwork quilt motif positions the art form prominently on the world stage. The National Quilt Museum hopes that this visibility continues to fuel the growing popularity of the art form.

About the National Quilt Museum

The Museum is the world’s largest and most prestigious museum devoted to quilts and fiber art. A destination for art enthusiasts worldwide, annually the Museum welcomes visitors from all 50 U.S. states and over 40 foreign countries from all corners of the globe. The Museum’s onsite and travelling exhibits are viewed by over 110,000 people per year. In addition, over 6,000 youth and adults participate in the Museum’s educational opportunities on an annual basis. The Museum is located in a 27,000-square-foot facility in historic downtown Paducah, Kentucky. The Museum’s mission is to, “Advance the art of today’s quilters and fiber artists by making it accessible to new and expanding audiences worldwide.” As their CEO Frank Bennett often states, “These are some of the most talented artists in the world and I want everyone to experience their work first-hand.” The National Quilt Museum is a two-time TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence winner. It is located in Historic Downtown Paducah Kentucky, which was recently recognized as a UNESCO Creative City. 


Amanda Ball, Marketing Director
National Quilt Museum

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SOURCE National Quilt Museum



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