West Virginia Quilt Festival opens Thursday in Summersville

SUMMERSVILLE, – Quilts, lectures, needle arts vendors, a quilt auction and a singing quilter all are in the lineup for the 2013 West Virginia Quilt Festival, opening at 9 a.m. daily Thursday through Saturday at the Summersville Arena and Conference Center.

Anita Shackelford, a nationally recognized quilt teacher and judge, will provide a lecture and trunk show of quilts on Thursday, the opening day of the festival. The festival also features a concert by Canadian folksinger and quilter Cathy Miller, displays of more than 170 quilts, a quilt auction, classes for novice and experienced quilters, and products for sale by dozens of quilt and needle arts vendors. In addition, quilts on display can be offered for sale to potential buyers – a first for the West Virginia Quilt Festival.

At 7 p.m. Thursday, Shackelford will show a collection of quilts chosen for the theme of her lecture that evening, “A Modern Mix.” The lecture is free and open to the public.

Shackelford has been quilting for more than 45 years. Her quilts have been exhibited around the world and she has won dozens of awards for her needle workmanship, including 12 Best of Show honors. In addition, she has twice been awarded the Mary Krickbaum Award for Best Hand Quilting at National Quilting Association shows. She is best-known for her dimensional quilt designs, embroidery embellishment and applique. More recently, she has added longarm quilting to her creative mix.

Miller will perform a concert at 7 p.m. Friday It is free and open to the public. Miller has toured for more than a dozen years performing songs, telling stories and displaying quilts throughout North America, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Germany. Her music repertoire ranges from historical to comedic and folk. Miller also is known for her mastery of NOTAN quilting, which derives from a Japanese term meaning light and dark. Her technique involves reversing light and dark fabric pieces for effect.

The annual event will host classes for quilt and needle work enthusiasts and daily little quilt auctions in which small, detailed quilts are donated to help raise money for the West Virginia Quilters guild.

Nancy Swisher of Taylor County will be an instructor. Swisher has been teaching for more than two decades and leads quilters retreats twice a year. She has had quilts selected for competition at national quilt shows and one of her quilts is in the permanent collection at the West Virginia Culture Center in Charleston. She will be teaching a class about French braid quilts.

Admission is $6 per day, or attendees can purchase multi-day passes of $12 on Thursday or $10 on Friday.