It’s patterns galore at the Bucks County Visitor Center as more than 100 intricately-crafted quilted pieces hang from the rafters in the Main Gallery.
This is Visit Bucks County’s 15th annual Quilt Show, which features the unmatched workmanship of 68 local quilters through Sept. 2 at 3207 Street Road, Bensalem. The yearly exhibit showcases the talents of these individuals, who understand that quilts have evolved into much more than simple household objects used for warmth on chilly nights – they’re truly creations of art.
The masterpieces included in the 2019 Quilt Show encompass a wide range of colors, designs, experience levels and inspirations. Many, including “Stars for My Hero” by Carol D. Duke of the County Line Quilters Guild, have heartfelt ties to loved ones.
“This quilt was made in honor of my dad, William C. Beans, and given to him on his 90th birthday,” Duke said. “He served our country during WWII. He has always been there for me, and he will always be my hero.”
“Mommie’s Garden,” by Edna White, also has a touching story behind it.
“Mommie always had our home looking like Longwood Gardens, inside and out,” White explained. “She did not have a green thumb, she had a green body. She loved her flowers and sharing them with others, giving you one of her own if you really loved the flower.”
Others, such as “Dream Big” by Jacqueline Styner, are a testament to how hard work and dedication are key to improving quilting technique.
“After years of practice learning how to free motion quilt, this beautiful fabric panel from Hoffman Fabrics was the perfect place to showcase my skills,” Styner said. “I was inspired by lots of other quilters on Pinterest that have made similar quilts. This project also turned into a free motion class I taught at Olde City Quilts in Burlington, New Jersey.”
Meanwhile, several depict delightfully enjoyable scenes. “Oh the Places You Can Go in Bucks County” spotlights important landmarks in the area, while “Enter if you Dare” by Frank Thurber brings the return of Mr. Pumpkin for another Halloween-themed wall hanging.
New this year, an educational speaker event will be hosted at the Visitor Center on Aug. 3 at 2 p.m. Running with Scissors Quilters will present “How to Use Studio 180 Design’s Tools & Methods,” demonstrating how to make quilting easy and fun. Seating is based on availability.
In conjunction with the Quilt Show, the exhibit “Reflections of a Fiber Artist” by Rose H.V. Miller is being presented in the Theater Gallery. The exhibit is a retrospective of Miller’s growth and development as an artist, and of the influences on contemporary Africana quilt making.
“Reflections of a Fiber Artist” displays 27 of Miller’s bold pieces, many of which highlight her departure from the idea of traditional patchwork quilting. Miller builds designs in layers, starting with a painted background and adding odd-shaped fabric bits to create people and animals.
Also on display is the shadow box “Wool Penny Mats” by Charisse DiCrecchio. The display details how, in the 1800s around the time of the Civil War, thrifty homemakers would use scraps of wool from old clothing, blankets and hats to create designs for mats. Using coins as templates, they created circles. Each piece was then stitched in blanket stitch fashion, with a penny often stitched inside the mat to make it lie flat.
In addition to viewing all of these pieces, Quilt Show attendees can enter to win one quilt pieced and quilted by Linda Weingard (this year’s quilt consultant and former co-owner of The Quilt Academy) and Margaret Thurber.
All proceeds benefit Alpha Bravo Canine, a nonprofit organization that teams service dogs with U.S. veterans suffering from debilitating medical and psychological problems as a result of their active combat duty.
Raffle tickets can be purchased at the Visitor Center for $2 per ticket, or $5 for three tickets. Donations will also be accepted at the Visitor Center, or can be mailed to Alpha Bravo Canine, PO Box 16030, Philadelphia, PA 19114. More information on the nonprofit can be obtained by emailing ServiceDogs@AlphaBravoCanine.org or calling 267-992-1589.
The Quilt Show is free and open to the public Monday-Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, go to VisitBucksCounty.com/QuiltShow. To display your quilt at the 2020 Quilt Show, contact Alex Mottershead at AlexM@visitbuckscounty.com. ••
Samantha Bambino can be reached at email@example.com