The Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival held Feb. 25 28 in Hampton, VA, drew over 10,000 people.
The 2006 Quilting in America Survey reports that there are more than 27 million quilters in the U.S., and that 17 percent of all American households say they have at least one family member who participates in quilting.
With over 100,000 square feet of exhibit space, and more than 150 vendors, Festival attendees had plenty to do in addition to viewing the 22 special exhibits filled with over 500 quilts, textile art, and wearable art. Over $24,000 in prizes were awarded at the show.
Many Americans have fond memories of special quilts made by favorite aunts or loving grandmothers, and quilts have always been associated with the adventures of early American pioneers. However, our association with fibers goes back many thousands of years further than that.
According to the Sept. 11, 2009, edition of Science Daily, "A team of archaeologists and paleo-biologists has discovered flax fibers that are more than 34,000 years old, making them the oldest fibers known to have been used by humans. The fibers (were) discovered during systematic excavations in a cave in the Republic of Georgia. "
But quilting has come a long, way, baby, from the calico squares of yesteryear. Contemporary quilts are breaking through the limits of textile art and dancing across the boundaries of mixed media art forms.
The show also featured traditional quilts.
Dolls and wearable art ensembles were also on display.
Instructors offered 60 workshops and lectures, and their work was shown in a special faculty exhibit.
Carol Britt, owner of Batiks Etc. & Sew What Fabrics, has been quilting since 1972 and in business since 1982. Carol says, "Quilting is such an innately positive activity! We take raw materials of relatively little value and create something of great worth on artistic, healing, and monetary levels. So much of what women do is temporary: a meal is eaten, dishes always need to be washed, and clothes get dirty so it's a special joy to design and make something of lasting value."
Free demonstrations were offered by local needle-art guilds as well as in many of the vendor booths, and attendees had opportunities to win raffle quilts.
Bernina of America, via two local shops--A Different Touch and Nancy's Calico Patch--is the founding sponsor of the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival.
Each attendee could participate by casting a vote for the Viewers' Choice awards.
All photos c. Meryl Ann Butler
A Partial List of Upcoming Quilt Shows across the U.S.:
Feb. 25-28, 2010
The Sewing and Stitchery Expo "¨Puyallup, WA www.sewexpo.com
March 4-7, 2010
The Quilt Fest of New Jersey VI "¨ "¨Somerset, NJ"¨"¨ www.quiltfest.com
March 24-27, 2010
AQS Quilt Show & Contest Lancaster, PA. www.americanquilter.com
April 16-18, 2010
International"¨Quilt Festival/Chicago"¨ "¨Rosemont, Illinois www.quilts.com
April 21-24, 2010
AQS Quilt Show & Contest - Paducah, KY"¨ www.americanquilter.com
April 29-May 2, 2010
Denver National Quilt Festival V, "¨Denver, CO www.quiltfest.com "¨
July 10, 2010
Sisters Outdoor Quilt Showâ„¢, Sisters, OR "¨ www.sistersoutdoorquiltshow.org
July 14-17, 2010
AQS Quilt Show & Contest Knoxville, TN"¨ www.americanquilter.com
July 23-25, 2010
International"¨Quilt Festival/Long Beach "¨ "¨Long Beach, California www.quilts.com
August 19-22, 2010
World Quilt Show - New England"¨ "¨Manchester, NH www.quiltfest.com
Pennsylvania National "¨Quilt Extravaganza XVII "¨Phil., PA www.quiltfest.com
October 6-9, 2010
AQS Quilt Show & Contest - Des Moines, IA"¨ www.americanquilter.com
Pacific International "¨Quilt Festival XIX"¨ "¨Santa Clara, CA www.quiltfest.com
November 4-7, 2010
International"¨Quilt Festival/Houston "¨ "¨Houston, Texas www.quilts.com
November 12-14, 2010
World Quilt Show - Florida "¨ "¨West Palm Beach, FL www.quiltfest.com
January 20-23, 2011
Road to California Quilter's Conference and Showcase, Ontario CA www.road2ca.com
2006 Quilting in America Survey http://www.quilts.com/announcements/QuiltingInAmerica2006survey.pdf Accessed 27 Feb. 2010
Archaeologists Discover Oldest-Known Fiber Materials Used By Early Humans Sept. 11 edition of Science Daily http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090910142352.htm Accessed 27 Feb. 2010
A Different Touch: www.adifferenttouch.com
Batiks Etc and Sew What Fabrics: www.batiks.com
Come Quilt With Me: www.comequiltwithme.com
Cherrywood Fabrics: www.cherrywoodfabrics.com
Design wall: www.cherylannsdesignwall.com
John Flynn/Flynn Quilt Frame Company: www.flynnquilt.com
Floriani Threads: www.tidewatersewvac.com
Knitting Sisters: www.knittingsisters.com
Laura Murray Designs: www.lauramurraydesigns.com
Laura Wasilowski: www.artfabrik.com
Nancy's Calico Patch: www.ncpquilting.com
Olfa Deals: www.olfadeals.com
Quilters Rule: www.quiltersrule.com
Starr Fabrics: www.starrfabrics.com