Hometown Girl: Contemporary Quilts of Mimi Dietrich


Hometown Girl from Maryland Historical Society on Vimeo.

The Maryland Historical Society is proud to present a new exhibition, “Hometown Girl: Contemporary Quilts of Mimi Dietrich,” open through March 2020.

Ms. Dietrich is one of Maryland’s and the nation’s most accomplished quilters. She has traveled nationwide to teach quilting, and in 2013 the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals named her Professional Quilt Teacher of the Year. In 2015 she was inducted into The Quilters Hall of Fame.

“Hometown Girl” tells Ms. Dietrich’s story as a life-long Marylander and Baltimore native, and draws inspiration from the many students she has taught over her 35-year career.

Ms. Dietrich’s quilting technique focuses on applique, which involves stitching smaller pieces of fabric onto a larger piece of fabric in a decorative manner. It is the signature technique used in Baltimore Album Quilts.

Baltimore Album Quilts are an original Maryland art form that dates to the 1840s and 1850s. Individual cloth squares—sometimes over 40 unique blocks—were fabricated by individuals who were often friends or family members. Completed squares were then arranged in a grid to create a pleasing pattern and were stitched together to form a whole.

To date, MdHS boasts almost 60 quilts made in the Album Quilt style and is considered one of the country’s foremost quilt repositories. Some of these quilts will be displayed in the “Hometown Girl” exhibition. MdHS’s Album Quilt collection has been a source of inspiration for Ms. Dietrich.

Ms. Dietrich has a long history of working with the MdHS quilt collection, beginning in 1993 with the MdHS exhibition, “Lavish Legacies: Baltimore Album Quilts, 1845-1855,” when she lectured and gave a workshop that coincided with the exhibition. In 2001, she and members of the Baltimore Applique Society (BAS) prepared quilts for the MdHS exhibition “The Baltimore Album Quilt Tradition.” Between 2011 and 2015, Ms. Dietrich was a key member of the volunteer group that catalogued and rehoused the MdHS quilt collection. Additionally, in 2014 MdHS selected Ms. Dietrich to applique the stars on a reproduction Star Spangled Banner and lead 200 volunteers in the effort.

“Mimi is truly a ‘hometown girl’ whose philosophy of teaching centers on Baltimore and her love of Maryland translates into her quilts,” said Alexandra Deutsch, Vice President of Collections and Interpretation at MdHS. “She believes every Baltimore quilter should know about the history of quilts in her hometown.”

Thank you to our generous sponsors: Baltimore Appliqué Society, Spring Water Designs Quilting-Columbia Maryland, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Hodges Stansbury, and University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Click here for more information on sponsorship opportunities. 

Exhibition Viewing

This is a yearlong exhibition on view during regular museum hours (Wed.-Sat. 10 am-5 pm, Sundays 12 pm-5 pm). Special guided group tours with Mimi Dietrich are available. Quilting guilds and groups of 10 or more are welcome. Cost (includes museum admission) is $5 MdHS members; $14 adults; $12 seniors; and $11 students. To schedule a tour, contact Margot Kopera, 410-685-3750 ext. 343 or [email protected].