Quilt show includes machine-crafted, handmade pieces

Published 9:36 am Thursday, October 1, 2015

NW1001 quilt
In the 21st annual Sycamore Stitchers Quilt Show, regional handmade and machine-crafted quilts of kaleidoscopic patterns and pieces have been on display at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area since Thursday and will hang until Sunday. This free community event showcases local quilters’ tedious work.
“When you’re at the quilt show, you get inspired by seeing other quilts and how people construct them, and then you go home and want to get started on something new,” show co-chairwoman Jeanie Johnson said.
Fifty-two quilts were entered in nine categories: four hand-quilted bed quilts, two machine-quilted bed quilts, four baby quilts, nine long arm quilts, three holiday wall hangings, three juvenile lap quilts, 10 wall hangings, three small or miniature wall hangings, six antique quilts, and 13 that were entered into the Sycamore Stitchers Challenge.
The antique quilts be displayed on a set provided by Ritchie’s Furniture and will not be judged, but the People’s Choice winner in each of the other nine categories will receive a unique quilted leaf award modeled after sycamore leaves found at the park.
“We pick leaves off the trees and then, in the park, trace the leaves and cut fabric in that shape, and they turn out beautifully,” Johnson said.
The Best in Show of the handmade bed quilts will be displayed in next year’s show.
The Sycamore Stitchers Challenge titled Scrap Happy Spinning has strict requirements for entries: the pieces must create a visible spinning effect including at least 10 fabrics from the quilter’s fabric stash. It must be no larger than 160-inch perimeter, using no quilting kits and at least eight square inches of a striped fabric. It must be made by one member only of the Sycamore Stitchers.
Votes will be counted Sunday night and winners will be announced Tuesday morning.
Johnson said the club is considering offering a children’s category next year. One small wall hanging, made by 10-year-old Audrey Nidiffer, with help from her grandmother, depicts an impressive home and evergreen scene in this year’s show.
One lap quilt is designed on both sides with University of Tennessee orange and white checkers and pieced Ts in a variety of fabrics for the quilter’s husband.
Another interesting piece, quilted by Flora Joy of Johnson City says “Joy” and has four flaps, under which are more displays. The red, white and black wall hanging is an interactive anniversary piece that uses a variety of fabrics, patterns, textures and buttons that drive onlookers to touch, lift and look.
The show is sponsored by Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area and University of Tennessee Extension.
New members are welcome to join the club, and no experience is necessary. The club meets for business on odd months and for a stitch-in at Sycamore Shoals on the even months. For more information, contact Johnson at 423-542-6173 or call the park at 423-543-5808.

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