Many thanks to the Piecemakers Quilt Guild and Sevier Valley Quilters for allowing me to take photos at the 20th annual “A Mountain Quiltfest,” March 19-22, 2014, held at the Le Conte Center in Pigeon Forge. What a beautiful new convention center this is with easy access and no cover charge for the show! Not being a quilter myself, I certainly felt welcomed and picked up tidbits from snatches of conversation here and there. Many of my friends are quilters, and belong to different quilting groups in the area. There are various shows each year, and all are always well attended.
What originally attracted me to this particular show was the display section of quilts that are made every year by the two groups putting on this show, and distributed to shelters in the area, like Safe Space, for the children. Two examples are shownto the right. Nancy Younce’s quilt is done in a child’s style that made me smile. Bonnie Gathergood’s was made from blue jeans her children wore when they were young.
Another special section was the quilts made by the Smoky Mountain Chapter of Quilts of Valor. They meet once a month, at 12:30PM, on the first Tuesday of the month at the John Sevier Senior Center on Chapman Highway/Main Street in Sevierville. The Quilts of Valor are for returning service members. The national organization, Quilts of Valor, to date has distributed 98,207 quilts nationwide. Some quilts are designated for Medal of Honor recipients. An award ceremony will be held this August in Knoxville where the Medal of Honor recipients will receive their quilts. When President Obama recently announced 24 new Medal of Honor recipients, needles and sewing machines went into overdrive! If you are interested in this local chapter contact Annie Matuszak at 865-774-7946 who says she likes binding best. Why, I asked? “Because you are in the homestretch!”
I bumped into my friend Sue Ann Tippitt gazing at the “Vintage Button Bouquet.” She pointed out the characteristics of nationally known quilt designer Linda Roy of Knoxville’s prize winning quilt. “This quilt wins a blue ribbon everywhere it is exhibited deservedly because of the high quality of Roy’s quilting and her creative design,” said Sue Ann. The quilt features ruching, an unusual technique in quilts along with meticulous cross-hatching.
I took several hundred photos while walking around the 400+ quilt exhibit. This link goes to a short 3-4 minute video of 37 of those quilts. I found out from previous experience that a flash attachment usually washes the color out of the quilt photo, but if you’re not using flash, a tripod helps with clarity on a longer exposure. Quilt photography can be hard, particularly if it is a geometric quilt, with stripes and borders, which most have. The viewer doesn’t really notice strips on a slant walking through the show but it can be bothersome in a two-dimensional photo, therefore, I only used one photo out of every 16 quilts. That issue is my excuse and I’m sticking to it! So to all the wonderful ladies who hung their blood, sweat and smiles on the wall and didn’t end up in the video, what can I say, asymmetric quilts photograph the best when hanging on a wall…. Next year’s Quiltfest will be March 18-21, 2015. Some classes will begin on the 17th, but the vendors and the official opening are on the 18th. Happy stitching. Blessings, mizkathleen@ Gracehill Bed and Breakfast