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Quilts Fly off the Bed, onto Gallery Walls

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Linda Cantrell's by Photo credit Meryl Ann Butler

Gramma's quilts have crashed through the glass ceiling to take their place as a respected art form, and stunning examples can be viewed at various quilt shows around the country.

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The 24th Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival (MAQF), which will be held February 21-24, 2013, in Hampton, Virginia, is the largest quilt event on the Eastern Seaboard.  Exhibits include entries to the annual Quilt and Wearable Arts Competitions showcasing regional, national, and international  artists.

Sakura 1: Hanaogi Views the Cherry Blossoms” (det.) by Megan Farkas by Photo by Meryl Ann Butler

Quilt entries compete in Traditional, Innovative and Wall Quilt Categories as well as for the "Best of Show" title, with over $12,000 in prizes. Event attendees can participate by voting in the Viewers Choice Awards - IF they can choose one they like best, and that's a big "if"!

"Sakura 1: Hanaogi Views the Cherry Blossoms" (60" x 98") by Megan Farkas, which won 2nd place in the Innovative category at MAQF 2012, also received the Viewers' Choice award.

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Images shown here of quilts from the 2012 show offer a flavor of what event-goers can expect from the upcoming show, which features over 600 quilts and fabric arts from 34 states.

The Magic of the Rose (group quilt) by Photo by Meryl Ann Butler

2nd place in the Traditional category at the 2012 MAQF went to "The Magic of the Rose," a group quilt by Kristin Vierra (, Joan Waldman,  Gloria Miller, Marie Clark, and Sandi Kosch. It was inspired by a  remnant of an antique quilt.

Star Struck by Cheryl L. See won 3rd Place, Innovative (80" x 91") by Photo Credit Meryl Ann Butler

Star Struck by Cheryl L. See ( 80" x 91," foreground) won 3rd Place in Innovative category.

John Jay Park in Winter by Terri Gavin by Photo by Meryl Ann Butler

Best Pictorial Quilt went to Terri Gavin for "John Jay Park in Winter" (23" x 24."

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Caught in the Act by Barbara McKie by Photo Credit Meryl Ann Butler

Caught in the Act by Barbara McKie (, a  29" x 32.5" Wall Quilt, is an original design, inspired by Taz the cat.

Event attendee admires "Ancient Weaver" by Ann Horton by Photo Credit Meryl Ann Butler

Sometimes a viewer's clothing offers a hint about why she lingers in front of a particular quilt!

The Jennings Homestead quilt by Photo Credit Meryl Ann Butler

"The Jennings Homestead" (45" x 69.5") won an award in every show in which it was entered in 2012, including Honorable Mention at the MAQF. It is a group quilt made from "slices." 27 members of the Milwaukee Art Quilters participated in making the quilt for Teresa and Paul Jennings, owners of the historic homestead built in 1884 in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. The process of making a slice quilt involves cutting up a photo (or other image). Each participant is given a "slice" to use as a pattern and works independently to create a finished block/slice. When all the finished blocks are sewn together, they create surprise effects with a flavor of cubism. 

Color Cascade aka Prints Charming by Connie Brown by Photo by Meryl Ann Butler

Connie Brown's delightful quilt, "Color Cascade aka Prints Charming" (85" x 85") combines elements of traditional quilt patterns, including the well known "Drunkard's Path." It was exhibited in the "Traditional" category at MAQF 2012,  but times have changed: 25 or 30 years ago, it probably would not have been accepted in a "traditional" category because of its innovative look.

However, nowadays, the "traditional" label includes a wider range of creative designs, and the "Innovative" category is reserved for the most unusual quilts.

Everlasting Bouquet by Cindy Seitz-Krug & Molly Hamilton-McNally by Photo Credit Meryl Ann Butler

"Everlasting Bouquet" (80" x 80") was created by a pair of artists, Cindy Seitz-Krug & Molly Hamilton-McNally, and features hand applique and machine quilting.

"Jack" by Sandy Curran won 1st Place, Innovative by Photo Credit Meryl Ann Butler

"Jack" (43 x 73") by Sandy Curran won 1st Place (Innovative) at the MAQF 2012. She uses her own hand dyed fabric, and says she was focused on creating the right expression in the eyes.

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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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