Tuesday, June 11, 2013


I had the wonderful opportunity of visiting this annual event, held in the Athletic Field House of a local university.  This event is “quilters and seamstress heaven”. All around the edges of the huge room are vendors booths selling fabrics, threads, fat quarters, finished quilted work (purses, small quilts, table runners), there are sewing machines and long arm quilting machines. In the room’s core there are rows and rows of quilts, six hundred all together, arranged by color, made by local quilters. There are antique quilts, art quilts, patriotic quilts, doll quilts, etc.

There are classes, contests, and drawings. The contest that intrigues me the most is called THE IRON QUILTER CONTEST. Modeled after TV’s Project Runway and Iron Chef. As on the TV shows, the contestants are given a surprise theme to base their work on. They have access to a huge stash of fabrics and 3.5 hours to sew up a quilt showcasing the theme.

This year the theme was DISAPPEARING ACT.

Just like on Iron Chef, there’s an audience watching the quilters, rooting for them, annoyingly asking them questions, taking their picture. But when 3.5 hours is up they have to stop creating. The contestants line up their quilts on white boards, given an opportunity to tell about their thought process for the design they selected. Each quilt is set on a chair, for the judging.

                               This was my favorite, but it did not win.

                       When the zipper is pulled up, the squiggle disappears.

  Rochester skyline - what I loved about this quilt is the bridge trusses were dressmakers snaps.

The judges paced back and forth, examining the quilts and after much comparing of notes, the judges announce the winner. The disappearing squiggle !!! and she takes home the beautiful Bernina.

I did not take pictures of all the contestants work, just the ones I was totally impressed with.

Here are some pictures I took while meandering up and down the labyrinth of quilts - just my favorites.

  President George Washington. Can you imagine all those tiny scraps?  Even shadows? Amazing.

          This one was in honor of a person's 90th Birthday. Her whole life in pictures.

                           The remaining three pictures are vintage quilts.  

.................Turn of the Century (19th) Rochester businesses in favor of temperance.

                                                     Doll Quilt

On loan from the Susan B. Anthony House's "Meaningful Threads" exhibit - Women's Suffrage Movement


  1. Such beautiful, artistic quilts! My favorite, though, is the design of the little one peeking out from the flowers - too cute. :D

  2. I think it is absolutely amazing what they were able to design is 3.5 hours. My favorite is also the quilt with the little girl and the flowers. Amazing talent!

  3. Wow, amazing!! The George Washington quilt just stuns me.

  4. Wow! Such talented quilters. I can't imagine being able to do that, but would love to learn someday. The George Washington quilt is impressive!!

  5. Wow amazing designs, incredible what you can do with fabric. Glad you had a great time x

  6. So Rita, when are you going to enter the quilt contest?! I am always amazed at quilts because it is something I have never tried and seems mindboggling to me!

  7. Did the announcer do any acrobatics like in Iron Chef? It looks like a fun event. The designs are amazing!