Imagine… 40 years of quilting, talent and comradery, the Vermont Quilt Festival celebrated its 40th anniversary! As a sponsor, it was an especially exciting time to be a part of the festivities! Learn more about the VQF here!
Our General Manager, Ken, and marketing team member, Isabelle, attended the show and were fortunate to be a part of the fun at this great event! Isabelle, a newer employee-owner here, and a first time attendee, will share a little bit of her experience…
When heading out to the Vermont Quilt Festival for the first time, I only had an expectation of what I would see. Beautiful quilts, fabric, tools, and of course, lots of quilters! It hadn’t even occurred to me that the main thing I would take away from this festival would be a feeling. A feeling of warmth and support and kinship.
Everyone I met while I stood in our booth, was so warm, enthusiastic, and most of all passionate! It was nice to meet other people who can’t help but touch the yummy fabric in front of them!
Offering our QT Raffle allowed me to talk to a great number of people who came to the VQF. I met people who had traveled far from every direction: people from Canada, Florida, Oregon. If I hadn’t attended the festival myself, I may have wondered, ‘What could be worth such a long trip?’ But after less than a day, it was clear that this event is a meeting place for like-minded, passionate people.
One of my favorite memories from my weekend at the Vermont Quilt Festival was actually once I returned to my hotel. When I walked in the door, I recognized three women who had visited our Quilting Treasures booth earlier, sitting all together and quilting! They were all settled into the couch, hand-sewing the binding to their three drastically different styles of quilts, talking and laughing. I was so struck! After a day full of looking at quilts – these women came back to sew together! I think this moment truly personified what the Vermont Quilt Festival was all about. People coming together, sharing their different points of view on quilting and fabric, and creating a bond as warm as their quilts.
Speaking of connecting with people, here is Isabelle with her mom’s friend, Susan Slater. Susan volunteered at the festival and was there for a whole week… she and Isabelle just happened to run into each other! How sweet!
More about the festival…
Quilts, quilts, and more quilts are on display every year! The event kicks off with a champagne jubilee and the 3-day festival includes classes, quilt contests, appraisals, challenges and a marketplace of many vendors! It’s truly a wonderful experience for the sewing and quilt enthusiast as well as those who appreciate the art and history of the quilting industry.
Our QT on the Go initiative is to travel around the country and take part in shop events and festivals such as the VQF. Part of our sponsorship included donating a major VQF raffle prize. We also had a raffle at our booth! So much fun to see the anticipation of the contestants as they kept their eye on the prize! We were so excited when we met with the show raffle winner, Cameron Tiefenthaler! Here she is with Ken! A nice big basket of fabric and information!!!
Here are some pictures from the festival!
We were so inspired by Cameron, being such an accomplished quilter at a young age, we asked to interview her and her mom Heather to learn more. We are sure you will also be inspired by this vibrant, young talent. It’s an honor to share with you more about her and her experiences as a quilter!
QT: Tell us a little about yourself!
Cameron: I live in Mechanicsburg, Ohio. I love to quilt, play the cello, and perform in theater! I will be a high school freshman in the fall.
QT: How did you get started in quilting?
Cameron: I started quilting about 4 years ago after sewing garments for a few years in 4-H. Mostly my mom and grandma helped me with my projects but I did have a family friend work with me when I surpassed my family’s ability to help me. In my mind, I thought that quilting was only for those that sewed by hand. I was, however, convinced a few years ago otherwise. I bought the 4-H quilt book and went to one of my local quilt shops, Red Rooster Quilts, to look for a pattern. Since then, I take as many classes around Columbus as I can fit in between schoolwork. I like to hear guest speakers, see their trunk shows, and visit as many quilt shows with my family as I can. I enjoy quilting with my mom and taking classes with her as we are learning together. We both love it.
QT: What has been one of your biggest challenges?
Cameron: As far as challenges, and while we are speaking of classes, I have had some trouble finding classes that are age-appropriate for my skill level. Having a minimum age on some classes at various stores is sometimes a challenge and I have to break that barrier by explaining to them my experience. After a class, they can appreciate that I do know my way around my machine. Also, I find that I am really particular about fabric and as they say “I know what love when I see it”. Sometimes it takes a while though to see everything.
QT: What advice would you give a beginner quilter?
Cameron: Having some success with entering my quilts in contests, one bit of advice to others is to enter your quilt(s) in as many contests as you can. You have already made the quilt, which is the hard and time-consuming part, and you never know what may happen. The prizes are wonderful and exciting! Also, take as many classes and go to as many shows as you can; you never know what cool ideas you may find or great raffle prizes you may win! And the people you meet are priceless! I always gain new ideas and tips that make things easier or better.
QT: Have you thought about what you’d make from the fabric you won?
Cameron: With my generous basket of beautiful fabric, I plan to make a baby quilt for my cousin using the fancy forest pattern and use some of the fabric for my next 4-H quilt. I keep looking at quilts with those fabrics in mind!
QT: What did you think of the Vermont Quilt Festival?
Cameron: I really enjoyed the Vermont Quilt Festival and spending time talking to other quilters. I especially loved seeing the different red and white quilts, one of which was ironically similar to the one I am making for my 4-H quilt in the Kaleidoscope pattern. I was elated to receive the Quilting Treasures fabric and can’t wait to use it! The night I received it, I took the massive box back to our hotel room and tore it apart! There was so much fabric in there I even had some trouble getting it all back into its original place but it made it to the car safely! I’m excited to enter the VQF show next year!
I liked that almost everyone we ran into around town in our hotel lobby, at stores, at restaurants, etc., were there for the show. There is a comradery that exists and allows all of us, regardless of age, to cheer each other on. It is a special feeling when we share photos and stories of projects dear to us. VQF clearly draws folks from a wide area of neighboring states and beyond. The vendors, volunteers, and organizers all did a beautiful job and it showed.
QT: Anything else you’d like to share?
Cameron: In the future, I have hopes of one day designing my own fabric line and am currently beginning the process of sketching ideas to write my own book. I spend my free time sewing, watching how-to videos, and searching out new fabrics and patterns. You can say I’ve been bitten by the quilting bug!
I love to enter my quilts in contests. I was the top winner in Nancy Zieman’s 2015 Kids Quilt Challenge in Madison, WI. With my $200 gift certificate I was able to buy some supplies I had been needing to add to my collection. I also placed 3rd in Moda’s 2015 National School Block Challenge in Paducah at the National Quilt Museum and had my block on display at the museum. This year I received Honorable Mention in that same show. I have recently registered to exhibit at AQS’s show in Des Moines and am waiting to hear back. I have already received word that my application has been accepted to enter Nancy’s show again this year so I am excited to send along my first attempt at Judy Niemeyer’s Arizona Cactus. I am just finishing my 4-H quilt which is the red and white Kaleidoscope. I hope I make it to the Ohio State Fair like I have done for the past two years. I get excited to enter contests and can’t wait to enter the Vermont show again next year!
QT: How proud you must be of your daughter, what is it like to watch her make these beautiful projects?
Heather: It has been a complete joy to watch Cameron learn to quilt. We are actually learning together as I was a basic sewer at best. We enjoy every minute learning, planning, and completing projects. Typically, I help cut and press as needed while she sews and she is accurate and fast! We purchased a new machine about a year ago as she had advanced passed the offerings of our old one. I hardly get to use it when she is around but honestly, she knows the machine better than I do. My goal is to always keep fabric ready for her because she is a super-fast sewer! It is nice that we have similar tastes in fabric and patterns but she does have her own style and preferences. She just recently allowed batiks in her world with the introduction of a Judy Niemeyer class. She concedes that they look amazing but hasn’t strayed much from a preference of vintage-inspired, but modernly twisted fabrics. The time we spend together is priceless and I hope she continues to enjoy it as much as today in our busy world of other options. I am not sure what I will do when she heads off to college…??? I’m almost dreading that already!
QT: What did you think of the VQF? You’re from Ohio, how did you come about heading all the way over to Vermont?
Heather: We entered the show with pretty high hopes that she would be allowed to exhibit. We planned a vacation around it, luckily believing that even if her quilt wasn’t accepted, we would want to attend anyway. On Thursday night as we watched the awards presentation for the youth on stage, she was a bit sad, but it didn’t diminish her stride. She knows that she has gratefully won before and hopefully will again soon. Honestly, I bet that winning the raffle prize was even more exciting for her than being on stage! Thank you for that! We couldn’t wait to break open the seal and look at every piece of fabric in there the minute we returned to the hotel room!
** The youth quilt contest was first-come-first-serve and Cameron’s quilt did not qualify in time to be included in the contest **
This is my first real quilt I made using Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co. Jot Churndash pattern. I won first place at county and received an Outstanding of the Day at the Ohio State Fair. I also won first place and best of show in the open class kid’s quilting contest at my county fair and this was the quilt I won with for the 2015 Zieman Quilt Expo. This quilt has ric-rac, prairie points, yoyos, vintage buttons, and other fun accessories.
Pictures from at the Arizona Cactus Judy Niemeyer class I took.
<–The finished quilt top! I plan to enter this in the 2016 Zieman Quilt Expo!
Cameron at a quilt show she attended in Columbus –>
<–This was taken at an Amanda Murphy trunk show at Quilt Beginnings in Dublin, OH . Below a Kaleidoscope Quilt made for 4-H this year!
Pictured is my Milky Way quilt I made last year for 4-H. I went to the Ohio State Fair with this quilt. I long-armed it myself with a “lazy e” pattern. The first picture only shows half of the quilt!
We are thrilled to get to know Cameron and her mom, Heather! The greatest part of being in the quilting industry is meeting new friends and learning their story. We are amazed at the fantastic projects Cameron has created so far, the best is definitely yet to come!