Old favorites and one-of-a-kind creations at the Richmond Quilters Guild show.
Courtesy of the Richmond Quilters Guild
At the 12th Richmond Quilt Show Sept. 20 and 21, visitors will find quilts with traditional designs like prairie points and hexagonal patterns, but they can also discover quilts drawn from the imagination, like a pieced work depicting the owner’s two dogs with furry fabric for the pets’ coats, and another that uses elaborate blue, green and sand colored fabric quilted to portray waves and 3-D stuffed turtles on top to render a water scene. And, adds Mary Noel, president of the Richmond Quilters Guild, founded in 1978 and one of the show’s sponsors, “I think you’ll see some ‘Dear Janes.’”
The name refers to the legendary quilt created by Vermont native Jane A. Stickle in 1863, which comprises 169 different block patterns, made from over 5,600 tiny pieces of fabric. At the last show, guild member Judy Meyer of Richmond won Best of Show for her “Dear Jane” quilt. “She worked on it for five years,” says Noel, 66.
This year’s event, “The Art of Quilting: Traditional and Modern” will take place at the Commonwealth Building of Richmond International Raceway. Three hundred quilts created by guild members (some for sale) will hang on display in the ballroom, along with 50 others in a judged competition. Many of the creations have unusual stories. Noel, for instance, is entering a “Yard Sale Quilt” made entirely from fabric she purchased at yard sales.
At the show, which is only held once every three years, an expected 1,000 to 2,000 visitors will watch demonstrations, enter raffles and peruse vendor shops. Some of the guild’s 300 members will sell their fabric creations in a boutique, with all proceeds bene-fiting the Fisher House at Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond.
In anticipation of the show, guild members are busily creating hospital-bed-sized quilt tops to donate to charity. They will quilt and bind them at a booth operated by Virginia Longarm Network, which sells quilting machines and services and is co-sponsoring the show with the guild. “We hope to complete 50 charity quilts [at the show]. We’ll ring a bell each time we finish one,” says Noel.
Noel’s granddaughter, Emily, helped her create one of the quilt tops. She is teaching the 11-year-old how to knit and sew, just like her grandmother taught her. “I’ve sewn all my life …. It’s ingrained in me. And I see it in my granddaughter. She’s got the bug.” Tickets $3-$7.
More quilting events to visit around the state.
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, Williamsburg
“A Celebration of American Quilts” presents 12 diverse quilts made in the U.S. from the 18th to the 20th centuries. Through June 2016.
Old Church Gallery Quilt Guild Show, Floyd
This annual competition is held alongside the Woman's Club Arts and Crafts Festival. Floyd Elementary School. Oct. 4-5. FloydQuilts.
Rainbow of Hope Quilt Dinner & Auction, Lynchburg
In 2006, quilt shop manager Tamera Ehlinger and her customers began this annual event, which has raised $250,000 for Hospice of the Hills. Mountain View United Methodist Church. Nov.1.
Stafford Piecemakers Quilt Guild Show, Stafford
A raffle quilt, challenge entries and more than 100 quilts on display. John M. Porter Memorial Library. Oct. 24-27.
Virginia Quilt Museum, Harrisonburg
In the “who knew?” category: “Men Who Quilt” features works by the late NPR host Fred Calland and other male quilters. Sept. 2-Dec. 20.