From the family heirloom handed down generation to generation, to the contemporary patchwork of patterns stitched in a craft class with friends, quilts are part of the fabric of West Virginia culture of past, present and future.
In West Virginia, we’re crazy for quilts. They’re sold at antique shops across the state, hang in our museums and are celebrated with festivals and special days. But they’re more than decorative pieces. They provide a link to the cultural traditions of the English, German and Scots-Irish immigrants who settled in West Virginia.
Whether you’re a longtime quilter or new to appreciating this great American craft, West Virginia State Parks can help you take up the threads of this folk art with a series of quilt shows and classes this March. Here are a few of the offerings this month.
Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park
No matter your interest in quilts and quilting, Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park is the place to be this month. The Blennerhassett Museum near Parkersburg is hosting several shows and classes. Attend one of theses events — or all of them! You’re bound to learn something new about quilting.
- 13th annual Mid-Ohio Valley Heritage Quilt Show. Expect to see antique quilts and quilts for beds, walls and cribs, plus the themed category “Sew American Pride.”
- Vintage Linens presentation by Sheryl Carpenter, former owner of Parkersburg Sewing Center.
- Quilters Retreat Class with Beth Sidley of Studio 180 Design. Learn the basics of creating a Beaujolais quilt top. Space is limited, so a reservation is required. Class fee includes pattern, museum entry and lunch.
- Quilters Lecture and Trunk Show with Beth Sidley.
North Bend State Park
If a weekend of quilting at Blennerhasset isn’t enough for you, head to North Bend State Park for the Quilter’s Spring Retreat, March 19-24.
The calm, peaceful setting of North Bend’s lodge provides the perfect atmosphere for quilting. You won’t want to leave! Book a lodge room today.
Details on March quilting shows and classes, as well as other events may be found at www.wvstateparks.com.
Then, in May, the artistry of quilts will go on full display during the annual Quilts and Wall Hangings Juried Exhibition at the Culture Center in Charleston. The exhibit opens May 26 and continues through Sept. 5. After attending West Virginia parks classes and seeing displays, visitors to the annual exhibition will be able to appreciate the displayed quilts with a more educated eye.