Path part of biennial show dedicated to sewing craft
A new approach will be taken to a long-standing tradition this year during Lee County's biennial quilt show, which will be held Oct. 18 and 19 at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center.
The Hearts and Hands/ECA Quilters‚ Guild, which sponsors the event, will be setting up a quilt trail during the event in hopes of drawing visitors from the civic center to downtown Sanford. The quilt trail will feature photos of the barn quilts that dot the landscapes in rural North Carolina, each accompanied by a blurb about the the area and directions downtown.
"We're hoping that people who come to the show will follow the trail of paintings and have lunch or shop in downtown Sanford," said quilters‚ guild member Irene Smith. „It‚s a pleasant way of telling visitors about the culture and history here in Sanford and Lee County."
Smith also provided a press release that detailed further plans for the quilt trail and also gave a tentative example of one installation in the project. The description of the piece, which is called Railroad Crossing, credits the local artist and then explains the area‚s strong historical connections to the rail industry and then directs visitors to visit the Railroad House Museum and one or more of several restaurants, shops and other attractions in the area.
"The city of Sanford literally grew up around a railroad crossing located where you will now find Depot Park, 226 Carthage St.," the informational snippet reads in part. "Visit the Railroad House Historical Association located in the park."
For those who will miss the quilt show or can't wait another six weeks to see the exhibit, there will also be a smaller test run of the quilt trail at the Lee Regional Fair, which starts next week. Smith said about a dozen paintings will be scattered throughout the fairgrounds, which people can see before they go up along some of the major roads around town in conjunction with the October quilt show.
"We expect 2,000 people to attend the show this year," Smith said. "So it's a big draw, you know, it makes a contribution to the economy of the city and the county."
Another attraction quilters can look forward to is the guild's quiltmobile. The funky car made a guest appearance recently at the annual Boomer, Senior and Caregiver Expo at the civic center, and it will be back at the civic center for the October quilt show, which this year is celebrating a harvest theme. Along those lines, there will be a quilt made by guild members raffled off as a fundraiser, called "Summer Succotash," which was inspired by local agriculture.
That raffle, and other money the guild takes in through the show, will be put back toward quilting activities locally. On its website, the guild says quilting fell out of fashion for a while but has seen a resurgence in popularity over the last few decades, and they want to keep it that way.
"... Community service is a large part of our undertakings," the group states online. "We are constantly providing worthy organizations with quilts and pillowcases for use and to raise funds in raffles. Wounded soldiers are the recipients of Quilts of Valor. The local 4-H Group, Crazy Quilters, is sponsored by the guild."
The Summer Succotash quilt may be viewed before the show at Find X Designs, 719 Carthage St., Sanford. At the show, there will also be on-site lunch, door prizes, raffle baskets, quilting demonstrations, supplies and sewing machines for sale and the quilt contest. those who want to enter their creation must submit an application form by Sept. 15 and must submit the quilt itself by Oct. 12.
To get an application, or to learn more about the guild and the October show, visit www.heartsandhandsnc.org or call (919) 498-2397 or (919) 499-0453.
Show hours are Oct. 19 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Oct. 20 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5, and children younger than 12 get in free.