Jackson County quilt show and sale returns in October

Suzette Lowe
Special to Jackson Newspapers

A Jackson County tradition will be on full display when the annual quilt show and sale takes place at Epworth United Methodist Church on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 8 and 9.

The quilt show and sale has featured many hand-pieced and quilted creations.

In its 46th year, the Jackson County show is one of the oldest quilting events in West Virginia. But being the oldest doesn’t mean things can’t change a bit.

For the first time, the Jackson County Community Educational Outreach Services (CEOS), which sponsors the show, will accept entries from out-of-county quilters.

“In the past, we’ve only allowed quilts from Jackson County residents,” said chairperson Terri Hackney. “We realize that there are many beautiful creations that need a showplace. With the lack of opportunity at festivals this year, we felt this was the prime time to offer the option of our show.”

Right now, only quilters from counties surrounding Jackson will be eligible.

“We’d like to open it up even more,” said Hackney, “but I don’t think we’d have the room right now to display them properly.”

One other change in the show is a boon for area quilters who have an overstock of supplies.

“Normally we have vendors selling products,” said Hackney. “This year we’re offering space for people to rent if they want to 'de-stache' their quilting supplies.”

Hackney stresses this is not a craft sale, but an opportunity for quilters to sell material, quilt books or any other quilting items.

Each year, a theme is chosen for the show. Hackney said the focus this year will be reproductions of designs from the 1930s or feed sack quilts. During that time, feed sacks were made of colorful printed materials, often used to make clothing and quilts.

Becky Hackney and Jo McHenry share a 1930-style quilt made by Charlene Kelly.

“We hope to get some pretty unique quilts from those interested in this theme,” Hackney said.

The 22 categories of quilts will be judged by Linda Vaughan from Caldwell, W.Va. Having judged quilt shows for the past 10 years, Caldwell says there are certain things she looks for in a winning quilt.

“The first thing is construction,” she said. “If it is not well-made, it will not hold up over time. The quilt should have good tension and strong seams. The binding should be full to the edge and stitched securely.”

Caldwell says her method of judging tends to encourage rather than criticize.

“I want the quilter to read and follow up on the suggestions,” she said. “I’d hate for someone not to enter their work because they fear negative comments. They don’t have to fear that from me.”

While the professional judge’s choice is important to the quilters, Hackney said the most sought after award is People’s Choice.

“When you win that award, you know you’ve touched someone with your creation,” she said. “Most quilters say that’s the one they treasure the most. To each quilter, their piece tells a story. They’re truly works of art.”

Demonstrations will be taking place during the two-day event as well.

Perfecting the binding, quilting-as-you-go block quilting and reverse applique will be offered both days with no-binding baby quilt only on Friday.

Perhaps the most intriguing learning opportunity will be how to make a crumb quilt.

“This is basically scrap quilting with really small scraps or ‘crumbs,’” Hackney explained. “It’s similar to a crazy quilt.”

Someone very proficient at using miniature pieces in her quilting is Amy Pabst. In 2019, Pabst finished her 100,000-piece quilt project. Completing 26 log cabin design quilts, Pabst went on to publish a book detailing the quilts and the process.

Pabst will be on hand to sign copies of her book, “Log Cabin: the 100,000 Pieces Project.” She will also have a few copies available for purchase. This master quilter has won multiple awards at past Jackson County shows as well as other competitions.

Each quilter may enter two creations but only one per category, including the themed division. Quilts entered in any prior Jackson County quilt show and sale will not be judged but can be sold.

Registration forms for the show are located at the Jackson County Library and can be obtained by contacting Hackney at 304-541-9075 or littlebit@yahoo.com.

The quilt show is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8, and from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9. Quilts will be registered on Wednesday, Oct. 6, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.