Pieces of cloth: The Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza

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I haven’t been blogging lately.  A lot has been going on so I have some catch up to do.  Two weeks ago I attended the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza that took place from Thursday to Sunday in Oaks, PA.   Oaks is the home of the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center. My friend BJ is an expert quilter and she had two of her quilts accepted into this show.  Since I lived so close I said I would go and scope it out, and take pictures of her quilts.  By the way, one of them won a ribbon.   It is pictured above.

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I can’t believe how much quilting has changed in recent years.  Now it’s more about art than stitching pieces of fabric together for a bed covering.  Seriously, many of these quilts were awesome.  I

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spent a few hours wandering up and down isles with quilts hung for display.  Small quilts, medium quilts, large and super large quilts, traditional and modern.

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The average age of quilters is above the norm for the population.  From what I saw I estimated it to be in the fifties.  Just being at a quilt show is a test of physical strength.  You walk miles in huge expo centers and have to stay on your feet, sometimes standing in place for a long time.

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And then there are the vendors.  Dozens of stores and companies selling their wares to quilters and quilter’s friends.  You can buy hand cream and sewing machines and special stools to put your feet on when you get tired.  I tell you, after two hours at the quilt show I wanted to buy a stool just to sit down and take a break.

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There were traditional quilts and modern quilts, colorful and gray tone quilts; quilts were machine quilted and hand quilted, appliquéd and pieced.  The picture below is part of a larger quilt.  Can you believe the detail in the people and the scenery?

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The judges have a hard time comparing these quilts.  They have to look at things like originality, use of color, technical skill, and composition.   For example, the quilt below to the right is an example of really fine machine quilting.  It won one of the big prizes.  IMG_3304

I’m not much of a quilter, but I can admire these wonderful pieces of art.

BJ is one of many quilters who work hours to produce labors of love and exquisite pieces of art.  If you are interested in seeing more of her work and how she creates these pieces of art please visit her website https://www.bjfabricartist.com

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Here’s another one of BJ’s quilts.  It didn’t win a ribbon, but maybe at the next show.

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3 thoughts on “Pieces of cloth: The Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza

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