Quilting has been bound to Lancaster County culture throughout history. From Old Order Amish and Mennonite quilts with their solid colors and bold, geometric designs to modern and contemporary art quilts, the people of this county have always had a passion for expression and creativity through fiber art. The most important event for local quilters in recent history has been AQS QuiltWeek, brought to Lancaster from the American Quilter’s Society.
The American Quilter’s Society holds QuiltWeek events throughout the country offering instructional workshops, beautiful exhibits, trunk sales, and an expansive vendor’s market. They aim to give quilters everywhere access to inspiration, information and premium quality quilting products. While also giving out the largest cash prizes for quilters in the country! Their yearly contests include categories for machine quilted, hand quilted and wall quilts.
QuiltWeek exhibits showcase techniques and designs from cultures all over the world. Explore the delicate work of instructor and quilter Cindy Needham at the “For the Love of Linens” exhibit. Cindy has a gift for turning vintage linens into one-of-a-king heirloom quilts that come alive with personal details such as beading and buttons.
The Studio Arts Quilt Associates of the Republic of Korea is displaying 3 pieces their group has been collaborating on using art quilt techniques they have been studying for several years. Their pieces showcase their unique and interesting interpretations of life, both joyful and tumultuous.
The French Gallery features a selection of 120 quilts from the Van Gogh Cherrywood Challenge. These quilts were inspired by the universally beloved painter Van Gogh and were made entirely of hand dyed Cherrywood suede-look cotton. Prize winners and quilts that received special recognition for their craftsmanship will be on display.
The Contemporary Quilt Art Association is displaying 53 art quilts from the US and Brazil. The 23 Brazilian quilts showcase their quilters exploration of abstract art with an emphasis on adding depth using embellishments while the 30 quilts from the United States show how quilters here have moved towards abstract realism with very little physical depth in each piece.
QuiltWeek Workshops & Vendors
Each of this year’s instructors has years of personal and professional experience quilting, designing, teaching and authoring quilting books. Therefore they’re hosting a wide variety of workshops, including trunk shows and personal inspiration from award-winning quilters. Learn creative techniques for piecing, machine applique and machine quilting. Get the most out of your machine by learning how to use its decorative stitches. And get step-by-step instructions for beautiful patterns.
AQS QuiltWeek vendors offer everything from sewing machines, furniture, fabrics, patterns, threads, tools, notions and everything in between. You’ll find everything you need to make your very own masterpieces using the valuable experience and knowledge gained throughout the event.
The 2018 AQS QuiltWeek will be held at the Lancaster County Convention Center March 21-24. It runs Wed-Fri. 9am-6pm and Saturday 9am-4pm. Come say hello to your innkeeper Brandy at the concierge desk Wednesday afternoon! Check out their website for single and multi-day tickets and to sign up for workshops. Book your stay in beautiful Lancaster County here.