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Passionate Colors: A Quilt Show Photo Essay

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Meryl Ann Butler     Permalink

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Purple Piecing Plus wearable art jacket by Lila Hendricks
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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.

Big Blue by Peggy Jebavy

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.

Paisley Peacock by Pat Holly won 1st Place in Innovative Quilts.

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. "

Really Wild Flowers by Sharon Schlotzhauer won a 3rd place ribbon.

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.

Circles of Life by Linda French won Best of Show.

Circles of Life by Linda French. detail

Canopy by Gloria Loughman

Crossing Calamity Creek by Kathy McNeil won Best Pictorial Quilt/Innovative.

Fatal Attraction by Sandy Curran

The show also featured traditional quilts.

Sew Is Life by Barbara Korengold won a 3rd place ribbon, Traditional category.

Bali Hai by Marilyn Badger won a 1st place ribbon in the Traditional category.

Dolls and wearable art ensembles were also on display.

Bella by Deanna Hogan won 2nd Place Doll in the Hoffman Challenge.

Hidden Treasures by Judy Dains won Hon. Mention in ensembles.

Cubes & Flowers by Rami Kim won 3rd Place for full ensembles.

Galatea Adorned ensemble by Charlotte Warr Anderson

Garden Path by Summerset Banks won the Judges' Choice Award.

Instructors offered 60 workshops and lectures, and their work was shown in a special faculty exhibit.

Summer in a Shade Garden by instructor Jo Diggs

Instructor Laura Wasilowski's Fences and Bridges 2.

The Well by instructor Esterita Austin.

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."

Carol Britt of Batiks Etc. & Sew What Fabrics

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.

Master quilter John Flynn chats with an attendee. Photo: Meryl Ann Butler.

Quilts displayed at the Come Quilt With Me booth, made with special templates.

Unusual products included Sewbatik's dyed cotton flannels.

Laura Murray's Starbuilder quilt, made with paintsticks on fabric.

Demo of Murray's painting techniques for her starbuilder quilts.

Charlie demonstrates tools & techniques at his Olfadeals booth.

Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics booth

The Stone House Quilters guild offered raffle tickets for their stunning quilt.

Starr Design Fabric displayed their Falling Leaves quilt pattern.

Cutting demo at the Quilter's Rule booth

Lace bowl stitched from thread at the Floriani Thread booth.

Silk, wool, and alpaca yarns were available in booths such as Knitting Sisters.

Doris Fisher of A Different Touch offers a demonstration.

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

March 4-7, 2010

The Quilt Fest of New Jersey VI "¨ "¨Somerset, NJ"¨"¨

March 24-27, 2010

AQS Quilt Show & Contest Lancaster, PA.

April 16-18, 2010

International"¨Quilt Festival/Chicago"¨ "¨Rosemont, Illinois

April 21-24, 2010

AQS Quilt Show & Contest - Paducah,

April 29-May 2, 2010

Denver National Quilt Festival V, "¨Denver, CO

July 10, 2010

Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show „ , Sisters, OR "¨

July 14-17, 2010

AQS Quilt Show & Contest Knoxville, TN"¨

July 23-25, 2010

International"¨Quilt Festival/Long Beach "¨ "¨Long Beach, California

August 19-22, 2010

World Quilt Show - New England"¨ "¨Manchester, NH


September 16-19,2010

Pennsylvania National "¨Quilt Extravaganza XVII "¨Phil., PA

October 6-9, 2010

AQS Quilt Show & Contest - Des Moines, IA"¨

October14-17, 2010

Pacific International "¨Quilt Festival XIX"¨ "¨Santa Clara, CA

November 4-7, 2010

International"¨Quilt Festival/Houston "¨ "¨Houston, Texas

November 12-14, 2010

World Quilt Show - Florida "¨ "¨West Palm Beach, FL

January 20-23, 2011

Road to California Quilter's Conference and Showcase, Ontario CA


2006 Quilting in America Survey Accessed 27 Feb. 2010

Archaeologists Discover Oldest-Known Fiber Materials Used By Early Humans Sept. 11 edition of Science Daily Accessed 27 Feb. 2010

A Different Touch:

Batiks Etc and Sew What Fabrics:

Come Quilt With Me:

Cherrywood Fabrics:

Design wall:

John Flynn/Flynn Quilt Frame Company:

Floriani Threads:

Knitting Sisters:

Laura Murray Designs:

Laura Wasilowski:

Nancy's Calico Patch:

Olfa Deals:

Quilters Rule:

Starr Fabrics:


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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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