Annual Quilt Show opens in Berkeley Springs
Like the redbud trees, Quilt Month comes early in Berkeley Springs when the annual Delectable Mountains Quilt Show opens at the Ice House Gallery on Friday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. with a gala white-glove, meet-the-quilters reception. Produced by the Morgan Arts Council (MAC), and curated by quilt guild member Cheryl Rink, the popular and colorful exhibit hangs through May 28.
The show, "Medallion Quilts" features work by more than 30 guild members, spreads over more than 2,000 square feet of walls and floor space in the Ice House and includes everything from full-size quilts and wall hangings to table toppers and quilted jewelry and wearables. New this year are the small quilts, about a square foot of handcrafted fiber art, on sale to benefit the quilt guild's educational fund.
"Learning new techniques elevates the quality of the show year by year," explained Rink about the guild's commitment to education. A prime example is the featured quilt, "Dragons' Maze" by Susannah Kipp. "I was inspired by designer Karen Sievert who taught us the technique during a guild retreat," said Kipp. Kipp's other quilt on display is "State Flowers," an original design for which she digitized the original flower designs which were then embroidered on the quilt.
As in past years, the annual Apple Butter Festival quilt makes its debut at the show. "Goose in the Pond" by Rika Bennett was triggered by one of the earliest of the guild's educational efforts. It features fabrics by noted designer Jinny Beyers who taught in Berkeley Springs more than three decades ago. "It's another winner," said Beth Curtin who commissioned the quilt for the festival.
Another quilt with a story is the guild's collaboration, "Sun Kissed Flowers." The predominantly red and black quilt was pieced by five guild members and quilted by a sixth. It started with a package of fabric pieces unearthed during a clean-up of a seventh member's studio. Dixie Stoltz, who is a relocated North Carolina quilt shop owner and teacher is a new guild member.
Each year an array of small items are made by members especially for the show. Jane Frenke and Pauline Winland will have items there.
The show concludes on Memorial Day weekend in May with the Yard Square Quilt Auction at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 27. Launched the same weekend at the show opens, 42 Yard Squares hang in businesses, windows and other locations throughout town for six weeks splashing the image of Berkeley Springs as Quilt Central to all who pass through.
All proceeds from auctioning the Yard Squares are donated by the guild this year to Camp Joy, a youth project that repairs and renovates deteriorating homes for low income and elderly residents in the area.
The Delectable Mountain Quilt Guild show hangs at the Ice House through Monday, May 28 and is open to the public every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Beginning on May 4, show hours extend to Fridays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and included the special Monday end day on May 28.
The exhibit is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the West Virginia Commission on the Arts and local hotel/motel tax revenues. The Ice House is located on the corner of Independence and Mercer. For more information call 304-258-2300.