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The Joy of Quilts

“Trip Around the World,” “Starburst,” “Irish Chain,” and “Sweet Liberty” are just a few of the themes on display at the Annual Spring Quilt Show at the Visitor Center at Historic Fort Steuben that will run from April 10 to 22nd.

“Over thirty quilters from Ohio and West Virginia have submitted their creations for the exhibit,” explained Judy Bratten, Director of Historic Fort Steuben. “We are always amazed at the variety of the designs and the creativity of their makers.

“You can say that history is captured in these quilts. Over the centuries people have used what was available to make coverings or artistic expressions. In ancient Japan, heavily quilted fabric was used as armor. During the Great Depression, quilts – as well as dresses and shirts – were made from feed sacks. In modern times, fabrics were developed specifically for quilters with patterns and designs, colors and textures that could be adapted to favorite themes.”

There will be 46 quilts in this year’s show reflecting a variety of techniques as well as designs. Some are hand quilted and pieced while others are machine worked. Both men and women are participating in the show reminding visitors that quilting is a skill not limited to sex or age.

“Some people think of quilting as a hobby for grandmas when actually it is an art that is available to anyone,” Bratten noted. “In the past, quilting often was a group project since the quilting frame is large and needs lots of space. It also served as an opportunity for socializing, sharing local news and gossip. Church women would create quilts to send off with missionaries to other countries. That still is happening, but with modern technology and the wide availability of supplies individuals can make quilts at their leisure at home.”

Visitors can vote for their favorite quilt at $1/vote. They can also purchase a $5 raffle ticket for a beautiful quilt made by local artist Karen Nicholson; the raffle will run until June 4th.

The exhibit will be open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 4pm and is free to the public. Historic Fort Steuben is located at 120 S. 3rd Street in Steubenville, Ohio. For more information call 740.283.1787.

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