Work has started on the Phase Two renovations of the Missouri Quilt Museum. The museum is located in the 100-year-old former Hamilton High School. Phase Two renovations will include work to the building’s gymnasium and lower level.

Spokesperson for the museum, Dakota Redford, said the renovations will include a second quilt gallery, four new exhibits, and several hands-on classrooms. Redford also announced a special permanent display for the second gallery.

“We are extremely excited to announce that the Missouri Quilt Museum has partnered with the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky, and will host a permanent gallery for the National Quilt Museum,” Redford said. “The National Quilt Museum has one of the best and most comprehensive quilt collections in the world. We will be hosting a revolving exhibit of their quilts.”

The National Quilt Museum Gallery will be located in the gymnasium section of the building. The collection will be rotated quarterly.

“We will have a fresh exhibit from the National Quilt Museum every three months. And with our other galleries, there will be something new every month at the museum,” Redford noted.

Planned exhibits for Phase Two include Elias Howe’s Workshop, a Native American exhibit, an Underground Railroad Quilt exhibit and a Flour Sack exhibit.

“The Missouri Quilt Museum is not a traditional quilt museum,” Redford said. “In addition to numerous quilt displays, we are presenting a series of exhibits that tell the history of quilting in North America. Quilts have played an important role in our history and we want to tell that story.”

Redford cited the current Log Cabin Exhibit at the museum.

“We have on display a quilt that was made in 1834. It is a paper piece quilt in which pieces of fabric were cut and sewn onto pieces of paper as the quilt was being made. As paper was scarce in those days, handwritten letters were cut up and used as the paper to make the quilt,” Redford said. “And back then, quilts were made for warmth, so the pieces of the paper were left in the quilt. You can find out what was actually happening back in 1834 by reading the snippets of letters used in this quilt.”

The museum also has over 500 toy sewing machines on display, thimbles from around the world, along with a growing collection of antique sewing machines and irons. Outside of the museum is the World’s Largest Spool of Thread. The spool stands 22 feet tall and contains over 1 million yards of thread.

The Missouri Quilt Museum is open 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, A $10 donation is requested as the price of admission. Private tours are also available. Information can be found online at www.missouriquiltmuseum.com or by calling 435-849-2564.