Cyndi Slothower (right) of Quilters Corner in Ithaca presents the Nina Linton award to Elin Kopelson at the 2017 Tompkins County Quilters Guild Quilt Show. The award recognizes a standout beginner quilter.

Cyndi Slothower (right) of Quilters Corner in Ithaca presents the Nina Linton award to Elin Kopelson at the 2017 Tompkins County Quilters Guild Quilt Show. The award recognizes a standout beginner quilter.

Tompkins Cortland Community College will once again be the site of the biannual Tompkins County Quilters Guild Quilt Show from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 5 and 6. Quilters and fanatics of the textile will have the opportunity to view over 250 quilts made by local quilters as well as attend quilt workshops and demonstrations.

Most of the quilts on exhibit will be from local adults and youth, and will feature works such as wall-hangings and bed quilts along with traditional and modern quilt art.

“A lot of people when they think about quilts think about your grandmother’s quilts, very traditional quilts,” Karen Kindle, Co-Chair of the show, said. “There certainly will be a fair number of those. But the other quilts are so diverse that I think people would be surprised. There are modern quilts that are just splashes of color; there are landscape quilts; there’s portrait quilts; there’s collage quilts; all kinds of surface treatments of the fabric. It’s pretty diverse.”   

There will also be wearable quilted clothing like jackets and accessories like purses, along with quilted animals and dolls on display. Those in attendance will have the chance to vote for their favorite pieces as part of the Viewers Choice Awards.

“We are having special awards that are judged by people who are experts on various aspects of quilting,” Kindle said. “Those are including things like the hand quilting, the hand stitches that people do for quilting. Also machine quilting. … Then we’re having best use of color, best applique and a few other things."

Visitors can attend a variety of quilt-themed workshops, such as “Hand Applique,” which is a form of sewing in which one sews colored patches onto a fabric, at 11 a.m. on Oct. 5. Kindle will be running a workshop on hexie coasters, which are simply quilted, hexagonal-shaped coasters, at noon on Oct. 5. In terms of demonstrations, there will be a presentation on gel printing, which is a technique for creating monoprints with premade silicone plates, at 1 p.m. on Oct. 6. (For the full schedule of workshops and demonstrations, visit

Kindle said there will be workshops oriented for children specifically as well.

“One is making [tote] bags with ironed-on applique patches,” she said. “The person who’s doing it is going to have Halloween-related fabrics, so it would be good for trick-or-treating.”

Multiple “quilt turnings” will take place on both days, which will showcase historical collections of quilts. Nancy Ostman, a quilter from Groton, will be coordinating the quilt turnings.

“We’re going to be showing probably about 50 antique quilts,” Ostmand said. “The earliest ones are going to be dated from the early 1800s, then we’ll bring it all the way up to 1970.”

    “One of the earliest ones is a whitework that came to this country from Ireland. It’s a linen piece that’s embroidered with linen thread and with a big floral pattern. It’s white-on-white. So that’s one of the older ones, and then we have one from 1855, which is a wedding quilt and it [has] an old rose pattern.”

For the first time, seventeen local vendors – such as Ithaca Sews, Woodquilter, Kyoto Kimono and A Kid’ll Eat Ivy Designs – will set up shop at the event for folks to stop by, peruse through and buy any of their products. A small quilt silent auction will take place starting at 10 a.m. on Oct. 5, and there will be a sale of quilted books, magazines and patterns. All the proceeds from the sale will go towards the Tompkins County Quilters Guild.

The show will be located at the college’s Field House on 170 North Street in Dryden. Admission is six dollars for individuals who are 13-years-old or older. Children 12 and under receive free admission.

“I love seeing all the old quilts that I get to talk about, but I also love seeing all of the quilts and all of the different styles and people’s different expressions of the art form,” Ostman said. “Some people like a lot of colors; some people like a muted pallet. Some people like to work really big; some people like to work really small. It’s really exciting to see the variety.”

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