The Quiet Valley Quilters Guild is an organization for those interested in the art of quilting. Our aims are to promote and develop an appreciation for this art form, provide an opportunity for the education of our members through workshops and guest lecture programs, and serve as a resource for the community. We are a not-for-profit corporation.
The 50-member Guild meets on the first Wednesday of each month at the Second Congregational Church on Hillside Street, Bennington, VT. Business meetings begin at 6:30 pm, although members assemble around 6:00 pm in a more social mode. Guests and friends are always welcome!
A typical QVQ meeting includes a business meeting and quilt-related program/activity. Social time and refreshments are a pleasurable component to each meeting. Members are encouraged to bring recent quilt projects for “Show and Tell,” an activity that is both supportive and instructive. Each month the Guild sponsors a Block of the Month. The blocks the Guild members make are used for charity quilts.
Annual dues are $20, payable October 1st. A reduced rate is offered for those joining after April 1. Interested in becoming a member? Contact our Guild representative or click here for the membership form.
Workshops are held monthly, usually on a Saturday, with the exception of the months of September and December when there is no workshop. In recent months the Guild has offered workshops in Studio 180 techniques, machine quilting with templates, quilted clothing, and various methods for making scrap quilts. The workshop topics are varied so as to appeal to all levels of quilters. Generally workshop costs are $10.00 for members and $25 for non-members; additional fees are assessed when the workshop is taught by an outside instructor. Check out our current schedule in the Calendar of Events.
Community Service Projects
The Guild members are highly motivated to be of service to the community and put considerable effort into providing quilted items for those in need. The premier service project for QVQ is the “Quilt Cupboard,” where members make and stockpile quilts that are then donated to families who need quilts for physical and psychological warmth; for example, after a fire has destroyed their home. In 2010 we donated 25 quilts to Rose Lane, the memory care wing of Village at Fillmore Pond in Bennington. As of August 2011, the Guild has donated a total of 188 quilts. In addition, we provide lap quilts for cancer patients at the Southern Vermont Health Center.
The Guild’s inaugural meeting was in 1984 when twenty-six die-hard quilters gathered to organize in the art room at Catamount School. Membership grew rapidly and necessitated the move to larger quarters. The first effort to raise funds for this group was a raffle quilt, and the Guild has sponsored a raffle quilt each year since. Just about every member of the Guild helps with some aspect of this project: designing, purchasing fabric, piecing blocks, and hand quilting the quilt.
The Guild published its first newsletter in 1987, an effort to keep members informed of the various activities and programs. The Guild held its first quilt show, now known as the Bennington Quiltfest, in 1994 to celebrate its 10th anniversary.
At the first Quilt Show, which was held at the Ramada Inn in Bennington, 76 quilts were displayed, and nine vendors sold quilting-related supplies. The show was such a success that it has become an annual event.
Quilt Show dates were chosen to coincide with Bennington’s Antique Car Show, which was held on the second weekend after Labor Day. In 1995, the show was moved to Mount Anthony Union High School, a larger venue offering more room for quilt exhibits, vendors, classes, and lectures.
With over 200 quilted items on display, 19 vendor spaces, a consignment shop, a featured quilter and lecturer, demonstrations, and the spectacular raffle quilt, Bennington Quiltfest has grown into one of the area’s most popular events. The show gives the public the opportunity to view quilts ranging from the homespun, traditional variety we grew up with to fascinating contemporary works of art.
The show was moved again in 2010 to the MAU Middle School, a much newer facility with yet more room for the quiltfest displays and activities.