CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Division of Culture and History invites West Virginia quilters to enter the annual Quilts and Wall Hangings Juried Exhibition. This year’s exhibition will open Friday, May 25, with an awards ceremony at the annual Vandalia Gathering at the Culture Center on the State Capitol Complex. The free summer-long exhibition will be displayed through Sept. 4, 2012.

      “The quilt exhibition in the Great Hall is one of our most popular and colorful exhibitions,” said Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith of the Division of Culture and History. “Visitors from around the country enjoy the fine handiwork of West Virginians whose creativity and appreciation of tradition are showcased in the quilts and wall hangings we feature.”

Linda McCuean, an award-winning long arm quilter and instructor from New Galilee, Pa., will be the juror for this year’s exhibition. McCuean learned to sew at age 9 in a 4-H Club and has been making quilts for more than 30 years. She also will lead a workshop on wholecloth quilting at the Culture Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Friday, May 4. A whole cloth quilt is a quilt created from one single piece of very wide fabric. Unlike a patchwork quilt, a wholecloth quilt is not pieced and the design created across the surface is made entirely from quilting stitches. 

      Quilts, handmade or machine made, by West Virginia residents are eligible for the exhibition. Quilts and wall hangings shown previously in a Division of Culture and History Quilts and Wall Hangings juried exhibition are not eligible.
Awards are presented for first- ($750), second- ($400) and third-place ($300) in the following categories: pieced quilts, appliqued quilts, and quilts made with mixed/other techniques. Wall hangings will receive $400 for first-place, $300 for second-place and $200 for third place. In addition, a Best of Show prize of $100 may be awarded by the juror. Honorable mention or other non-monetary awards are given at the discretion of the judge. The Division of Culture and History will provide two Purchase Awards and add the purchased quilt and wall hanging to the collection of the West Virginia State Museum. Quilters may sell their quilts during the exhibition, however the quilt may not be removed until the close of the show.

This year, entries must be shipped or mailed no earlier than April 2 and must arrive at the Culture Center no later than April 25, 2012. Hand-delivered entries will be accepted between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., on April 19-20. Each entrant may submit one quilt and one wall hanging, which must be accompanied by a non-refundable fee of $20 for each entry.

The workshop is limited to 20 participants. There is a $20 fee per person and registration is required. Contact Betty Gay, exhibits coordinator for the Division, at (304) 558-0220, ext. 128, to register for the workshop and to receive a supply list. 
McCuean offers this advice to quilters who are entering the exhibition, “If you want to catch the judge’s eye with your quilting, use original designs and be sure to include some variety in each quilt. You don’t have to be an artist to draw your own motif.  Borrow a design from the appliqué or pieced designs of the quilts, maybe even from the print of the fabric!  Be creative! Have fun with your quilting!”

Guidelines, applications and more information about eligibility, jurying and shipping are available on the Division’s website and can be downloaded at, or by calling Gay to have an application mailed.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The Division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the Division’s programs, events and sites, visit The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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