Quilters, crafters pack civic center for two-day expo

Jan. 10, 2014 @ 10:27 PM

Brightly colored spools of thread and bolts of fabric lined the walls of the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center Friday, the first day of the Quilting and Fiber Art Marketplace, as men and woman searched through sewing machines and yarn looking for their inspiration or purchase.

The marketplace continues today, featuring more than 30 quilting and fabric vendors. The event began as a way to bring quilters together to share ideas and fellowship, said Patti Cline, owner of the organizing group, The Quilter’s Gallery.

“We are here to support the small businesses,” she said, “and to encourage the creative bond among quilters.”

The Quilter’s Gallery was originally a store in Charlotte that moved to the web, and the owners wanted to continue to enjoy the fellowship of other quilters. Thus began a marketplace event in Statesville, N.C.

“It went better than we expected,” Cline said. “So we had one on the western part of North Carolina, and we wanted to hold one on the eastern side.”

The second Quilting and Fiber Art Marketplace began in Sanford the next year in 2010.

“We like to come to smaller towns where it’s more relaxed and people can feel comfortable,” Cline said

The two-day show averages more than 1,000 guests during the weekend. Admission is $6.

Find X Designs, located on Carthage Street, was one of the vendors, showcasing their various sewing machines and fabrics for sale.

“They are making things to share with their family, loved ones and the community,” said owner Suzanne Christopher. “We’re here to help more people get involved with quilting.”

Friends and Fiberworks owner Lisa Mackey said this was their first year participating in the show, but they were “having a blast.”

“We want people to hang out at our booth and have a good time,” she said. “I hope people will be creative and see what they can come up with. There are things here they may not have seen before.”

Greensboro resident Kathy Boynton said she comes to the event every year in hopes of something catching her eye.

“There are certain vendors I want to see each year, and I like to see what all the vendors are offering,” she said.

Boynton purchased some older linens that she said she intends to use in some of her sewing projects.

Barbara Wallace, from Franklin County, said she’s been an avid quilter for a number of years and enjoys looking at the different bolts of fabric to get new ideas for sewing projects.

The Quilting and Fiber Art Marketplace resumes today from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Dennis Wicker Civic Center in Sanford.