West Virginia Quilt Exhibition

Our travels last week took us to three states and we had a such a great time doing some fun things. I’m going to start with our last stop, the Annual Quilt and Wall Hanging Exhibition in the Great Hall of the Cultural Center in the State Capitol complex in Charleston, West Virginia. This juried and judged exhibition is held every year and is on display from Memorial Day to mid-September.

There were 43 quilts and 19 wall hangings in competition by 58 quilters accepted by the jury for competition. Entrants had to be residents of West Virginia. There is some big money in this show, with first place quilt winners receiving $750! The second place quilt winners received $400, and third place $300. The wall hanging categories received $400 for first place, $300 for second place and $200 for third place. In addition, the Best of Show received an additional $100.

The Cultural Center setting was wonderful for the exhibition as quilting has a long history in West Virginia representing one of the oldest art forms in the state.

There were so many, I cannot show you all of them. Some were too high up to capture with my little camera, even with its 8x zoom. But, I will show you close ups of a few. This one made by Carol A. Miller called Flowers Bloom won 1st Place in Applique. The work was beautiful and detailed. I didn’t get a close up of the special ribbon, so I don’t know what other award she won.

These two caught my eye. The one on the left is Elemental by Joyce Davis. On the right, Elephant Abstractions by Kathryn Eagle. Both showed intricate piecework, visible even though they were high up on the wall.

Best of Show winner was an extraordinary combination of embroidery and custom quilting made by Linda Dotson Vaughan called Love to Embroider in the Mixed/Other Quilt category.

Here is a closeup of the corner showing the fabulous custom quilting and lovely embroidery. I’m looking at all the hand work and thinking this quilt must have taken years to complete.

Several wall hangings hung together kept me rooted in one place for quite a while. Note that in this show, the first place ribbon is blue, second place is gold, and third is red. All are amazing works of art, with different techniques.

This one is called Patriot, made by Amy Pabst, and won first place in the Wall Hanging category. Just look at the tiny log cabin blocks! Note that she used striped fabric to give the illusion of even tinier pieces. Still, these blocks were only about 3 inches across, with fussy cut stars in the centers of the blue blocks.

Second place was Jacobean Delight by Claudia Covey. The combination of piecing, embroidery and custom quilting was stunningly beautiful.

This untitled Christmas theme wall hanging made by Lovenia Casto won a well deserved third place ribbon, with marvelous applique work.

This quilt is entirely done with thread on a wholecloth background fabric. Diana L. Beverage quilted this art piece called Sunshine Mandala.

Here is a close up of her extraordinary thread work, with all the color in the design coming from thread.

For this photo, I didn’t get the placards. I tried to zoom in on the photo to try to decipher the blurry cards, and I think from the show listing that the bird on the upper right is Raven Rock by Fran Kordek, the fruit and vegetable quilt is Yum Yum Basket by Frances Fischer Braden. The adorable puppy could be Annie by Pat Habenshuss. I hope I got those right.

“Oh My Gosh” is the name of this second place winning quilt by Kimberly Roberts, and so aptly named as that was my reaction to seeing the amazing piecework. There must be thousands of pieces!

These were high on the wall over a photography exhibit.

Nancy Swisher won First Place and a National Association of Certified Quilt Judges Award of Merit for her pieced Dinner Plate Dahlia quilt.

This floor also held a display of first ladies gowns from inauguration balls with exquisite beadwork. There were dolls representing every first lady going back to 1864 in their gowns. The dolls were about 18 inches high and very detailed.

One last look at just a few more.

The Cultural Center has an amazing walk through history on the lower floor, and we did not leave enough time to see it all. It begins with the prehistoric paleolithic period when native peoples occupied West Virginia for 7000 years, virtually unchanged. It takes the viewer through the ages, and then the centuries, coming down to decades for the last 100 years. Major advancements and industries, cultural and artistic endeavors, early settlements, wars, social upheavals, and so much more could be seen with history to read and absorb. Exhibits of colonial life were numerous going through many aspects of life including a general store along with home exhibits on sewing, quilting, laundry and cooking. Pictures were not great as the lighting was dim in some areas and in others the spotlights on glass made it difficult to shoot. We needed at least 3 hours, and had to blow through it in just over one. We had to get on the road in order to get home before dark or we would have spent much more time there. If you go, plan to have at least 4 hours to see the quilts and the rest of the museums exhibits.

Have you been to a quilt show lately?

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32 thoughts on “West Virginia Quilt Exhibition

  1. karenfae

    all those quilts! what a show – it is hard to pick a favorite but as I have always wanted to make OMG and haven’t I do love that one – but that flag with all those tiny stripe logs I love too – the work that went into some of these quilts is amazing.

  2. Gayle Richardson

    I was thinking Oh My Gosh! at all of these beautiful quilts. The time and patience (and good eyesight!) it took to create these beauties. Thank you for taking us along for the tour. Sew inspiring.

  3. June Neigum

    This looks like a road trip soon. Charlseston is not that far from Charlotte. Got to find some quilting buddies to go. How do you find these shows? Never heard of this one.

  4. Patricia Evans

    Somewhat frustrating when quilts are hung so high you can’t see the detail (or the names). I haven’t been to a quilt show since before COVID. The Rochester show was in May, but I was out of town that weekend. That was quite a whirlwind trip you took.

  5. Mary Ed Williams

    Love your pictures of the quilts! Makes you wish you were eight feet tall! Do you think appliqué tends to get more attention from the judges? They are all so far over my ability that I don’t even get jealous anymore.

  6. Rita C.

    Carole, thank you for sharing this wonderful exhibit. Although I am not a quilter, as a West Virginia resident I have a great appreciation for the art, and have many friends who are expert quilters. One of my friends recently shared another wall hanging which Amy Pabst (Patriot) created and won several awards for, called Pure Velvet. It has over 21,000 pieces! Check it out: https://www.facebook.com/78053794421/posts/pfbid02TWYUUtnkWu8qmpqauGjgtAviRmCM81JoGPud63pr6EFCudTDHcdB4w3UjmBMDdAwl/

  7. Kim from TN

    What an amazing quilt show! thank you for sharing. We are planning a trip to West Virginia, and I hope to add this to our trip. It sounds like we would also enjoy the museum.

  8. Patty Brenner

    What a wonderful show! I love the Patriot wall hanging, I’m always drawn to red, white, and blue. I’ve pinned pictures of an Oh My Gosh quilt, I would love to see one in person – I can’t imagine piecing those tiny pieces! Those inauguration gowns and dolls are fabulous too; as a former garment sewer, I would love to look at the up close. Thanks so much for sharing these with us – no quilt shows around here (central Texas) until later this year. I usually make it to the big International show in Houston. If I’m completely honest, I spend far more time shopping at the Houston show than looking at the quilts 🙂

  9. Doris Ringler

    Thanks for highlighting this in your blog. I must go before it ends. I live 4 hours away, but daughter lives within an hour😊

  10. I’m so glad you made it to West Virginia….and wondered from your previous post if you came home this way! I go several times each summer to view the quilts at the Cultural Center and am sure I would recognize you from photos if I saw you! While I haven’t entered quilts there I was a juried exhibitor at the West Virginia Art and Craft Fair in Ripley, WV for over 20 years. Since Covid I am sad to say I’ve not been to a quilt show. Again, thank you for the kind words about my beautiful state and it’s history. I was born and raised in the coal fields of WV but live in the farming county of Monroe….it’s like 2 different states but both have their good qualities. Safe travels to you and yours this summer. (ps I will admit on a trip to the Biltmore in 2018, staying a few days both in Asheville and Hendersonville and shopping at Bits and Pieces Quilt Shop I kept looking around to see if you might be there. My husband thought I was being pretty silly! lol)

  11. Sue Hoover

    So many pretty quilts. I can see why you didn’t have enough time to see everything offered in the building. I made it to the AQS Quilt Show in Paducah this year. Quilt shows are amazing! One can see so many different styles, techniques, and talent. They’re very educational.

  12. Carole, you had to be in seventh heaven. They’re all stunning. I admit to that fabulous cream colored threadwork circle being my favorite of the ones you showed. But then, so many options. I wonder if blogger Rita (Panoply) knows of this exhibition — she lives in Charleston. Wow. Just wow.

  13. How lovely to get to the quilt show…… Gosh some are so high could you even see then properly……..
    Thanks for sharing…..
    We have a small display hanging in town at the moment…….. No comp just display

  14. Robin RK

    Love all your pictures! I just got home from vacation and while away saw the Virginia Quilt Museum. Amazing how many different quilt designs get displayed. So much inspiration.

  15. Janet Baer

    Thank you for visiting our state! I am always amazed at the talent shown by my fellow quilters. Too bad you didn’t get to visit the state quilt show in Summersville. Amy Pabst had a quilt exhibit there.

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