Empire QuiltFest slated

The Best of Show quilt, Murdererskill Crossing by Janet Atkins in 2016. (Photo submitted)

CLIFTON PARK — Quilters from around the area and New York state will be converging on Clifton Park for the ninth Biennial Empire QuiltFest, scheduled for April 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 pm, and April 29 from 10 a.m. to 4 pm, at Shenendehowa High School East.

The show will have over 200 quilts on display and is open to any New York state quilter, but many of the quilts shown have been created by members of five local quilt guilds representing Fulton, Saratoga, Schoharie, Schenectady, Columbia, Greene and Albany counties.

Quilters can choose whether to have their quilts judged. Ribbons are awarded in each category, and “best of” ribbons are awarded to the top quilts.

In addition to ribbon awards, “Best of New York” gift baskets are awarded to “Best of Show,” “New Entrant” and “Best Theme Quilt.”

Quilting vendors will be on site with an enticing array of quilting supplies for sale — from quilting fabrics and handy notions and tools, to state-of-the-art sewing machines and computerized longarm quilting systems.

The high school cafeteria will be open, serving lunch and snacks.

Take a break from quilt viewing and shopping at one of the luncheon lectures, presented at noon on Saturday and Sunday. The luncheon lectures are $24 each, and include a box lunch. Advance reservations are suggested.

On April 28, Ginny Radloff will present a lecture “Ginny’s Journey with Judy.” Ginny has been quilting since 1986, working as a long-arm quilter since 2001, and most recently, owner of Appletree Fabrics in Auburn, Mass.

Radloff’s passion for quilting blossomed when she began working with the quilt designer Judy Niemeyer. She became a Niemeyer certified teacher and is officially certified to teach Niemeyer’s patterns. She has completed over 90 of Niemeyer’s quilts.

On April 29, local quilt entrepreneur Jessica VanDenburgh will talk about “Precuts. What they are and how I use them in my quilts.”

Precuts are fun and a great way to get a jump start on the next project. VanDenburgh will talk about the names and sizes of precuts, and the projects that can make with them. Supplies are not required for a lecture, although participants may want to bring a pen and paper to take notes.

VanDenburgh was born and raised in upstate New York. Her grandmother taught her at a young age how to sew and encouraged her creativity. She discovered quilting and bag making in 2005 and started making bags for friends and family in 2007.

From there, her company, Sew Many Creations, was born. Originally the company focused solely on making custom bags, but slowly developed into a pattern company after many requests by fellow quilters.

As a quilter herself, VanDenburgh uses techniques she learned for cutting and sewing in her simple bag patterns. In 2012, she expanded her pattern company to also include simple quilts and other accessories. Her laid back approach to teaching makes students feel at ease. Her classes are full of fun facts, tips, tricks and a whole lot of laughter.

The 2017 Hoffman Challenge Traveling shows will be a special exhibit this year. Every year, the Hoffman Fabric Company designates one of its fabrics as the “challenge” fabric of the year. Quilters use this fabric to make their quilts and send them in to the competition. From the winning entries, Hoffman groups quilts into traveling exhibits.

The 2017 challenge fabric featured the floral focal (style P4299) from the Mastery digital-print collection.

Quilt guilds are the heartbeat of Empire QuiltFest. Each of the member guilds offers the opportunity to learn new techniques, make new quilting friends and participate in charitable endeavors.

The five guilds that sponsor The Empire QuiltFest are Sew Busy Quilt Guild, Gloversville; Athens/Hudson Valley Quilters from Columbia and Greene counties; Loving Hands in All Seasons, Minaville; QUILT North, Clifton Park; and Schoharie Valley Piecemakers, Middleburgh.

For more information, stop by the guild tables at the show. Some of the guilds will be hanging “opportunity quilts” — where attendees can take a chance on winning a hand-crafted quilt or participants can take chances on baskets of quilting goodies.

A popular quilting event since 2001, this is the fifth time that the show will be at Shenendehowa High School East. Shenendehowa High School East provides free parking (including handicapped parking) and easy access to the quilts, vendors and refreshments, all on one floor.

Admission to the show is $8 for one day, $12 for a two-day pass, and children younger than 12 are free.

Tickets for the luncheon lectures are $24 — advanced registration is suggested.

For more information, please visit the website at www.EmpireQuiltFest.org or check out the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/empirequiltfest.

By Patricia Older

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