According to quilter Cheryl Alloway, the show's idea came from Gae Barry, an accomplished quilter and member of a group of friendly neighbors who have met for 16 years. The group was started by Jean Chilcott, who wanted to bring together quilters in the Rifton area. In addition to their regular meetings, the group has staged an annual Quilt-a-thon at the Rifton Firehouse. One day each November, members of the group have converged on the Firehouse bearing a full quilt's worth of material. Their goal? To sew the whole day through, assembling quilt after quilt, and donating the resulting works of use and beauty to organizations serving needy families (previous recipients include the Darmstadt Shelter in Kingston, the Domestic Violence Shelter and social service organizations).
In conjunction, the group created one quilt each year that it raffled off; the proceeds were given to local food pantries. In past years this effort yielded as much as $1,500. Out of this tradition - and the urgent needs of the local pantries - was born the idea of a whole show dedicated to stocking the pantries' shelves.
At the event at Victoria Gardens on Saturday, quilts of all sorts will be on display. In addition to quilts created over the years at Quilt-a-thon events, at least ten of the women who make up the group will bring along their own creations. Pieces large and small will make up the show, with the works strewn all about the shop's soaring interior space and, if the weather cooperates, throughout the garden areas. In addition to the displays, a quilted wall-hanging will be given away as a door prize, and tickets will be sold for this year's annual raffle quilt (though the raffle itself will not be held until its traditional November date).
Competing for the attention of patrons will be the dazzling array of fall plants that the shop has in stock; the inventory included ornamental kales and cabbages, asters and all sorts of perennials that happily establish themselves in the cool, moist weather of autumn. A garden door prize will be on offer.
It all takes place this Saturday, September 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Victoria Gardens, which is located at the corner of Route 213 and Cottekill Road in Rosendale. The cost of admission to the event is a donation to the Rosendale or Marbletown food pantry; canned food, pet food or personal care items are all acceptable, as is a monetary donation made by cash or check. For details on Victoria Gardens, including directions to the shop, see www.victoriagardens.biz.