WOODSTOCK, VERMONT… In celebration of one of the most American of all art forms, Billings Farm & Museum will host its Annual Quilt Exhibition, from June 4 – July 10, featuring quilts made by Windsor County quilters.
For 36 years, Billings Farm & Museum has played a significant role promoting and encouraging the quilting tradition in Windsor County. Still considered both a creative and utilitarian household craft, renewed interest in the tradition dovetails with the museum’s mission of celebrating Vermont’s rural culture.
The restored Billings Farm Activity Barn will be transformed by a colorful display of artfully crafted quilts. The exhibition will include juried contemporary quilts made by Windsor County quilters and historical quilts from the museum’s collection. There will be a scavenger hunt to challenge the guests and quilting demonstrations on select days. Visitors can vote for their favorite large and small quilts to be selected for the People’s Choice Award.
Quilts submitted to the exhibition are juried by quilting experts in the region who each select one Juror’s Award. This year’s jurors are:
Froncie Quinn, owner and designer of Hoopla, a small company licensed by various museums to create patterns and instructions for their collection of quilts, with an emphasis on quilt history
Colleen O’Neill, a board member of the Vermont Quilt Festival from 2011-2015
Jen Daly, quilt designer, Etsy shop owner and author of Stitching for the Seasons (C&T Publishing 2019)
Two quilts from the Billings Farm & Museum historic quilt collection will be on view. These quilts, dating from the 1890’s-1900’s, will feature optical illusion techniques and patterns. The juxtaposition of light, medium, and dark colors in the Tumbling Block pattern creates the illusion of 3D cubes. The second quilt will feature dark and light curved pieces, creating the illusion of overlapping circles in the Winding Ways pattern.
Challenge Quilts made by members of the Delectable Mountain Quilters, will also be on display. A quilt challenge requires specific design and construction rules agreed upon by guild members, with the goal of improving their quilting skills. For 2022, guild members will use neckties made of silk, wool, cotton or polyester in traditional patterns, applique, or non-traditional techniques.
Admission to Billings Farm & Museum’s 36th Annual Quilt Exhibition includes the Animal Barns, Vermont Farm Life Exhibits, the Interpretive Walking Trail and the 1890 Farm Manager’s House. The 1890 Farm Manager’s House features the creamery, the kitchen and in-home innovations that were considered state-of-the art for the time. Visitors can meet the farm’s cows, draft horses, sheep, goats, and chickens in the barns and scenic pastures and enjoy ice cream and snacks at the Farmhouse Café.
In conjunction with the Quilt Exhibition, there will be a three-part Into to Hand Quilting Series for ages 16+. Classes take place on May 31, June 7, and June 14 from 5:30 – 7:30PM. Led by local textile artisan Tiana St. James, quilters of all experience levels will gain valuable insight into the delicate detail and texture that is unique to hand-stitched pieces. Participants will learn about materials, tools, and measurements as well as how to lay out and cut patterns and sew patchwork rows. Through easy to follow, step-by step instructions, participants will learn to stitch in both traditional and modern hand quilting styles and techniques. Students will emerge with finished quilt squares and a deeper understanding of the quilting process. Registration is $110/person, $100/Billings Farm & Museum member. Materials are included. Register in advance at billingsfarm.org/fiber-arts/