The success of the 2016 Mayberry Farm Fest Quilt Show held downtown Saturday demonstrates that what some call a dying art still has plenty of life left.
“I’m 28-years-old, this is my hobby, this is what I do,” said show director Jessie Bolick Cockerham. “It didn’t die with grandma.”
By late Saturday afternoon, nearly 200 people had stopped by to view the quilts, which were on display in an empty store on Main Street.
Entrants to the show numbered 28, “which was more than we had last year,” said Cockerham, who has directed the show for all three years of its existence.
She mentioned how quilt-specific markets have become a big thing in large cities.
“These things really exist,” Cockerham said, adding that the quilt show helps build that element locally.
“It’s hidden from the world almost,” she said. “So far we’ve been really lucky for the support of the community to use available buildings downtown.”
This year, the owner of CyberGear donated the use of the storefront formerly occupied by Mayberry Embroidery.
“The community gets to see another form of art we’re trying to bring downtown,” building on the the banjo and fiddle crawls as well as the alleyway sculptures, she said.
In fact, Cockerham, who has been quilting for “six years strong,” submitted a quilted banjo made entirely of fabric to the fiddle crawl.
“I can’t paint, I can’t draw, but anybody can make a quilt,” she said. “And if you really put your mind to it you can make a work of art.”
The event organizer pointed out the possibilities within the craft. Quilts entered in the show demonstrated antique hand-pieced styles to intricate computer machine stitched pieces.
Cockerham gestured to a quilted landscape of the Blue Ridge Mountains as an example.
The six award categories reflect different techniques.
Judges Nancy Davis and Rose Ayers awarded blue ribbons to:
• Peggy Agee, “Spring Bouquet,” applique and viewer’s choice.
• Peggy Agee, “Chevron,” machine work.
• Evelyn Boyd, “Halloween Crazy Pattern Wall Hanging,” small items.
• Margaret Dawson, “Disappearing Nines,” handwork.
• Mountain Top Quilters, “Reproduction,” judge’s choice.
Cockerham mentioned that all the winners are members of the Mountain Top Quilters, a group of quilters who meet weekly at the Vesta Community Center.
The group sold raffle tickets at the show for a prize quilt produced by the group.
The proceeds of the raffle will go to the community center and the winner of the quilt will be announced at a July 4 event held there.
Reach Terri Flagg at 415-4734.