BENNINGTON — Each year as summer comes to a close, the Quiet Valley Quilters' Guild gathers more than 100 masterpieces made out of fabric for the northeast to see and purchase.
This year, the organizers will show and tell at the Mount Anthony Union Middle School on Sept. 17 and 18. Pat Delaney, last year's feature award winner will be present and deliver a lecture each day at 1 p.m. About 30 vendors will sell their products, distribute from the Quiltfest Cafe and even lead some demonstrations. There will be a special exhibit that will consist of random objects made uniquely such as a hat, tote bag or a vest for a teddy bear. The People's Choice Award will be chosen on Sunday at 3 p.m.
Twenty-three years ago, a group of quilters got together to show off their work and eventually expanded the festival's activities and venue, guild copresident Nelle Knapp said.
"People just go around and see what they like," she said.
The event attracts about 1000 to 1200 people each year. Quilters hail from all over southern Vermont, eastern New York and Berkshire County, Mass.
At the event, all quilts, 138 on display, cannot be touched and are only available for purchase when noted. Organizers wearing white gloves are able to turn the quilt to better show the product if its for sale and an individual would like to buy it.
There will also be a consignment boutique for those who want to browse other items the quilters made. Quilting techniques that range from hand quilting to long arm quilting are the type of skills that will be demonstrated.
Ten percent of each quilt or fabric item sold goes to the Quilter's Guild and the rest to the original quilter.
"I love it because it's quilters getting together talking about the project that they're doing," Knapp said. "We're all crazy about fabric and spending time making quilts. The other thing I like about this guild is that we spend a lot of time doing charity quilts like for the cancer center and teddy bear quilts."
While members of the guild waited for creators to bring in their quilts on Tuesday afternoon, Linda Toohey strolled into the Second Congregational Church with a fall-themed piece inspired by the Japanese technique known as Sashiko. She hand stitched the large quilt over the course of more than 100 hours. She's also taught a class on the technique, Knapp said.
The Quilters' Guild meets once a month.
The festival will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 17 and 18 at the Mount Anthony Union Middle School at 747 East Rd. in Bennington. Admission costs $7. Visit benningtonquiltfest.com for more information.