Oklahoma Celebration 2000 Quilt

by Sherry Massey, Senior Registrar

oklahoma2000quilt3.jpgThe Oklahoma Celebration 2000 quilt was created in response to an international competition celebrating the millennium, sponsored by the American Quilters Society, Paducah, Kentucky.  The contest’s theme was Memories & Fantasies, featuring either a look backward at the 20th Century or forward to the 21st.  The Oklahoma Celebration 2000 quilt was a state winner and was among the 236 semifinalists selected for exhibition in Nashville, Tennessee, at the A.Q.S. 2000 Quilt Exposition in September 2000.  The quilt was also awarded ribbons at the 32nd Annual Quilt Show of the National Quilt Association in June 2001 and the 2001 Quilt Show of the Central Oklahoma Quilters Guild in August 2001.oklahoma2000quilt1.jpg

The quilt features 16 motifs reflecting influences which have given Oklahoma its unique cultural flavor.  Starting in the upper left corner of the quilt, the motifs and their meanings are:

Scissortail flycatcher - State bird
Mistletoe - State flower (later named the State Floral Emblem)
Guitar - Oklahoma’s country western entertainers
Five toe shoes - Oklahoma’s five Native American ballerinas
Spaceship - Oklahoma’s astronauts
American Indian on horse - The many tribes that populate Oklahoma
State map - Marks for the capitol and rivers
Gaillardia Blossom - State wildflower
Route 66 - The Mother Road in Oklahoma
Oil Derrick - Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry
State Capitol - Before the dome
Wheat - Oklahoma wheat production
Steer head - Oklahoma cattle industry
Horse-drawn wagon - Oklahoma Land Runs
Cowboy lassos tornado - Oklahoma’s windy weather

These appliquéd and/or embroidered blocks are set into a background of Road to Oklahoma blocks.  They are pieced in a variety of red fabrics to symbolize the translation of the word “Oklahoma.”

The Color Group, a small group of members of the Central Oklahoma Quilters Guild, made the quilt.  Organized in 1983, the group was formed to give members opportunities to explore color and design theory and to provide hands-on experience in the art of hand dyeing fabric.  The group has had quilts exhibited at the Houston International Quilt Festival, the Vermont Quilt Festival, the annual shows of the American Quilter’s Society and the National Quilting Association as well as all of the Central Oklahoma Quilters Guild shows beginning in 1991.

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