BENNINGTON -- The 20th annual Bennington Quiltfest was patterned for success over the weekend, with 129 official entries accepted from around the Northeast.
Hosted by the Quiet Valley Quilters’ Guild, the event had new and vintage creations on display, and featured a special exhibit, "Twenty Quilts for Twenty Years," which included a quilt from each prior year of the show.
Guild members participated in the Guild Challenge, an annual competition which designates a theme and size requirements for entry. This year’s theme was "Sunflowers," a symbol of powerful optimism, according to guidelines. Previous years had themes such as "Water," "The Four Seasons," and "Favorite Holiday."
Pamela Druhen, featured quilter and guest lecturer who has been competing in quilt-work competitions internationally for over a decade, was on hand both days to give her presentation, "Color Confidence."
Along with awards for bed and wall quilts as well as a People’s Choice award, there were raffles and quilting demonstrations throughout the weekend. Vendors offered sewing publications, fabric and supplies.
"Every quilter has a house full of fabric," said Beal, praising Irons’ skill.
Both women shared their talent for sewing with others, passing it on to the next generation.
"There was a quilting revival that started in the 70s," said Irons. "Interest in this really goes back a long way."
This year coincides with the 150th anniversary of the historical Jane Stickle quilt, dating back to 1863, which can be seen at the Bennington Museum.
Co-chairs Judy Smith and Charlene Adams have been working together on the Quiltfest committee, along with over 70 local Guild members, for more than ten years. As they prepared to welcome a tour group arriving by bus from N.H., both agreed this year’s turnout was a success. Quilting demonstrations and raffles were also offered. Linda Toohey is their third co-chair.
The Quiet Valley Quilters’ Guild meets the first Wednesday of the month from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Second Congregational Church, Hillside Street, Bennington. New members of all skill levels are welcome. Visit www.benningtonquiltfest.com for more information.
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