The Bonham Quilt Hop began Friday and will continue Saturday featuring 28 quilts from the University of Texas at Austin’s Briscoe Center for American History. The show begins at 9 a.m. Saturday and sites for the quilt hop include Creative Art Center, the Sam Rayburn Library and the Sam Rayburn House. Quilts from other quilters will be on display at the Bonham Visitor Center, Fannin County Museum of History, Historical Commission, Bonham Public Library, Bonham Senior Center and the Episcopal of Honey Grove.


Quilts featured will be from the Astronomical and Block Challenge Collection. The quilts were made from blocks in response to a challenge by the International Quilt Festival in 2013.


“The challenge was inspired by a quilt block hand sewn by NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg while serving aboard the International Space Station in 2013,” a news release from the Bonham Visitor’s Center said. “The 2013 challenge invited quilters from around the world to make astronomically-themed blocks that could used in a single collaborative quilt for display at the 2014 International Quilt Festival in Houston. Nearly 2,400 quilt blocks were submitted from around the world, prompting volunteers from NASA and Quilts, Inc. to join forces and assemble the blocks into these 28 quilts that were displayed at the festival.”


In 2015, the quilts were gifted to the Briscoe Center for permanent preservation and research, and the majority of the blocks are from the United States, but many were sewn in Russia, Canada, Venezuela, Norway, Ireland, Mexico, Uraguay, South Africa, Japan, Scotland, Costa Rica, England and Israel.


“All blocks are astronomical-themed designs so fabrics with stars, comets, rockets, planets and galaxies abound, as well as red, white and blue colors and US patriotic fabrics,” the release said. “However, look for surprises such as camouflage fabric, fabric featuring Elvis Presley, or fabric that pays tribute to Green Bay Packers. You could also notice the wide range of skills of the quilt makers, and the significant contribution of children, and blocks signed by men. Most blocks are signed and dated and many offer location information. Some were made from modern fabric, but some came from old fabric stashes.”


There will be more than 300 quilts at this year’s quilt hop.