One of the wonderful perks of living near Washington, DC, is that we can be members of the Smithsonian Institution, which gets us invited to neat events at their museums. Last Thursday, we went to the Udvar-Hazy Center, the annex of the Air & Space Museum, for a reception honoring the installation of the space shuttle Discovery.
Yes, high-tech quilts, but for all intents and purposes, the shuttle is covered in blocks of quilted material. The fabric was spun out of silica, and the batts were quilted with quartz thread! I'd never heard of such a thing, so I looked it up when I got home and found this document from the NASA archives, going back to the early 1980s:
Who knew that quilting played an important role in the space shuttle program?