Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Genesee Valley Quiltfest ~ Part I

This event took place last weekend (first weekend of June) as it does annually. It's really the first big and warm weekend of our very short Summer here in western New York (on the southwestern shore of Lake Ontario). Although there was an enchanting menu of local events to choose from, my choice was to attend the Genesee Valley Quiltfest.

The venue is a local college campus, therefore plenty of free parking. Held in the campus field house, therefore huge spaces, high ceilings - all perfect for presenting quilts. 600 plus quilts, plus quilted fashions and vendors specific to quiltmaking all around the perimeter of the space.

The event is a 3 day affair. I like to go on Saturday (day 2) because on this day there is a quilting contest entitled "Iron Quilter". A take-off on the Food Network show Iron Chef. Members of the Genesee Valley Quilt Club may volunteer to take the challenge to make a quilt from start to finish in 3.5 hours. This year the show's theme was "The Universe of Quilts". The theme for the Iron Quilters was "My piece of the Universe". They may interpret this theme in any way they like with one restriction - size. Their quilts are "wall-hanging" size. The crowds of onlookers can observe quietly as the quilters work furiously to get their projects done on time. Quilters use their own fabrics and sewing machines but there is a huge supply of snippets and scraps available for them to use, as well.

I usually check in on the quilters during the 3.5 hours they create but also wander up and down the aisles admiring the 600 plus quilts, taking pictures of those that particularly impressed me.

As the time comes to a close for the Iron Quilters to be done, I hang around that area to watch their quilts get displayed and to try diligently to decide which one is my favorite. I get to vote. The quilt with the most votes wins a prize of $100.

This was my favorite - in her universe, there are quilts hanging on the line

This one was the winner

Next week, I'll take you on a tour through the aisles of quilts, showing you a few of my favorites.

I hope that one day you will have an opportunity to attend this event. The creativity, the skill, the imaginations of these quilters of today and yesterday (vintage quilts) is awesome

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