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Antique quilts draw thousands to Vt. festival - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Antique quilts draw thousands to Vt. festival

Essex, Vermont - June 20, 2011

Work began for the antique quilt exhibit for the Vermont Quilt Festival weeks ago. Workers at the Vermont Historical Society in Barre were busy carefully folding and packaging more than 60 quilts that will join almost 400 others that will be on display. And each one has a story.

"This was a quilt made in the early 1900s by a woman named Violia Speer of Waitsfield and she was very proud of this quilt because she counted every single piece and kept the total and it was over 12,000 pieces in this quilt," said Jacqueline Calder of the Vermont Historical Society.

And Speer was 84 years old when she made the quilt. The pattern is known as "Fussy Cut."

"We had an expert look at it one time. She classified it as a crazy quilt gone amuck," Calder said with a laugh.

The antique quits arrived at the fairgrounds in Essex over the weekend. And they are now being unpacked and hung.

"I have a lot of enthusiasm for things but antique quilts are my real passion," said Richard Cleveland of the Vermont Quilt Festival.

Cleveland started the quilt festival 35 years ago in Northfield. It has grown so large, it is now held at the Champlain Valley Fairgrounds. Antique quilts have always been part of the exhibit.

"I think it is important for quiltmakers today to see these antique quilts to give them an idea of where they came from; what their heritage is," Cleveland said.

There will be quilts from antique to contemporary.

Hanging the quilts is going to take days. The festival opens Thursday evening and runs through the weekend. Click here for more information.

Judy Simpson - WCAX News

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