State Fair Quilt Show exhibitors connected by art of quilting
The State Fair Quilt Show will once again be on parade in the West Virginia Exhibit Building during the 10-day exposition, Aug. 14-23. Quilters from several states will display their artistic talents and needlework skills when they exhibit the quilts they have made featuring intricate designs, geometric shapes, bright colors, and exquisite stitching. In the old days, quilts were made with scraps of leftover fabric and used to keep warm. Today, while quilts are still made to be functional, they have increasingly become an art form.
Be sure to see the Quilt Show in the West Virginia Building at the State Fair of West Virginia, Aug. 14-23 which will once again showcase the artistic talents and needlework skills of quilters throughout the region.
One such quilter is Nell Townley, from Vinton, VA, a frequent exhibitor in the State Fair Quilt Show, who is considered one of the best quilters in the Mid-Atlantic region. Townley has won Best in Show at the fair with her quilts on many occasions throughout the years and is especially known for her precise detailed hand stitching. Perhaps one of her best known quilts which not only won Best of Show in the State Fair Quilt Show a few years ago, but also garnered top awards in other quilt shows throughout in the region, was a cream and purple quilt depicting a Hawaiian breadfruit tree of life design that was hand stitched with metallic thread. She hopes to give it to President Obama. Another quilt that she made was given to former President Clinton. Townley, age 80, has made 110 quilts during her lifetime. Last year, she won the highly coveted Champion of Champions Award at the State Fair Quilt Show. She plans to enter two quilts in this year’s State Fair Quilt Show.
Award-winning quilter Gloria Tuckwiller, who has admired Townley’s talents for many years, was thrilled to have the opportunity to meet her last year and also honored to have her People’s Choice award winning quilt hang on the front row of the Show next to the Champion of Champions quilt made by Townley.
Greenbrier County native Pamela Buck Mann is another well-known quilter and previous State Fair Quilt Show Award winner. Today she owns and operates her own quilt shop. The shop, which is called Sew Many Quilts, is nestled in the heart of downtown Covington, VA, just minutes away from Lewisburg. It features nearly 4,000 bolts of bright, fresh, and contemporary fabric along with quilting notions, supplies, books, and patterns, including patterns that Mann has developed herself.
Mann, who is a self-taught quilter, opened the shop five years ago, and her shop has been selected to participate as a vendor in several quilt shows and festivals throughout the region. Although some believe quilting to be on the decline, Mann says that she has seen an increase in the art of quilting, especially among younger adults who are attracted to more modern, innovative, and colorful fabrics that inspire creativity.