The bitter cold outside will sometimes make one think of warm blankets and quilts. Quilts usually have intricate sewing that gives them a beautiful pattern that most people admire, along with the warmth they bring to the owner.
However, it is those eye catching patterns that are put in quilting shows across the country. Locally, one of these quilters has been named a semifinalist in one of these shows.
Carolyn Rider, who is a Portsmouth native, is a semifinalist for the 2018 AQS Quilt Week March 21-14, 2018, at the Lancaster County Convention Center in Lancaster, Penn. Carolyn has been chosen to display the quilt, CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES, along with 200 others in the AQS contest. First, Second, and Third Place prizes in seven categories will be awarded, along with seven overall awards, including Best of Show. This is considered an international contest from 46 states and 13 other countries.
The American Quilter’s Society hosts several shows annually, each with its own quilt contest. More than $50,000 will be granted at this one, including $10,000 for the Best of Show and $3,500 each for Best Wall Quilt, Best Use of Color, Best Original Design, Best Hand, Best Stationary, and Best Movable Workmanship. Regardless of how CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES places in the final judging, all semifinalists’ quilts will be displayed at the show, which is expected to draw more than 15,000 people.
Rider has a long arm quilting business where she makes her own quilts and customer quilts. Several years ago, she began doing show quilts.
“There is just a list of shows listed all over the United States,” Rider said. “One would have a deadline of when to enter a photo of your quilt, along with an entry form that tells you what to do, and then you’d send pictures. They go over them to decide if your quilt is accepted. Then, they do the judging the week of the show. The same quilt was entered in a show in California called ‘Road to California’ and I got a notification that I won a blue ribbon at that show, which is first place in the category that it was entered in.”
Rider’s been quilting since April 2006. She used to hand quilt, but now uses her quilting machine. She was a former assistant treasurer at Valley Local Schools, before she retired.
She said that when she works on a show quilt, it could take up to six weeks before it is finished. Rider says she doesn’t go to many of the shows, but they will notify the winners a few days before the show. She’s entered a grand total of 41 shows in all, including 26 alone between 2014 and 2015.
“You can take a quilt to one show and not win anything,” Rider said, “and then the next show, with the same quilt, you might win.”
Quilting may not be what one is interested in, but one cannot mistake the amount of work and beautiful pieces that quilts can show. Finding something one loves to do, is not always easy, but many search for that one thing that makes them happy. Whether she wins or not, Rider has found something she loves and a way to share that love with others.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins 740-353-3101 ext. 1928