(This blog was originally posted in 2013 - his exhibit, Collecting New York Beauty Quilts: Bill Volckening's Passion, is no longer at the museum)
Bill Volckening has many passions, he has been a US Master's swimmer, a magazine creator, an artist and an editor. Then he discovered New York Beauty quilts, all because of a girl he was dating and a visit to Shelly Zegart. The girlfriend wanted to buy an antique quilt, so he tagged along...to Shelly Zegart's apartment. (You might remember Shelly as the creator of "Why Quilts Matter?") While he was there, he spotted a densely quilted, red, white, and green, New York Beauty quilt and fell in love with it. He decided to buy it and paid Shelly in installments. Bill has now been collecting for more than twenty years (he calls himself a "quilt magnet.") and his collection was on exhibit - Collecting New York Beauty Quilts: Bill Volckening's Passion - at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles through October 27, 2013.
Bill and the museum have graciously allowed TQS to share some of that exhibit with our members, but if you can get to the museum to see the exhibit in person you will not be disappointed. In the video you'll also get a quick glimpse at Bill's future exhibit featuring quilts from the 1970s.
Bill has also become a quilter himself and recently won his first ribbon for his quilt "Wild-Eyed Susans" featuring wool flowers. It was a guild challenge for the Northwest Quilters that he started at a quilt retreat in Sisters. He believes he is the only one to actually finish a project from that retreat. Bill says, "I missed the memo that retreats were supposed to yield UFOs!" To learn more about the making of the quilt, click here.
You can learn more about Bill on his website, www.billvolckening.com.