The Harvest Quilters have been presenting annual quilt shows in the Central Jersey area since 1983 and their 36th show will take place on April 6, 2019. The show, Sharing the Quilts XXXVI, will be held at the Willow Grove Presbyterian Church, 1961 Raritan Road, Scotch Plains, NJ 07076. Show hours are from 8 am to 4:30 pm. Adult admission is $7.00 and $3.00 for children under twelve.

The Harvest Quilters’ shows are warm, inviting and intimate, and attendees can ask questions and learn information about the quilts from the very members who created them. This viewer friendly show features ribbon winners which are determined by the viewers and show attendees who vote for the quilts they like best. Kids are given scavenger hunt slips to locate a variety of motifs on quilts in the show. Art quilts, wall hangings, table runners, lap size, and bed size quilts can be seen.

Quilts from recent Harvest Quilters’ workshops will also be exhibited. One workshop featured curved piecing and another 3-D floral wall hangings. Demonstrators stitch at spots throughout the show and, more importantly, story boards are positioned by many quilts that tell the story of how and why particular quilts were created and finished.

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This year, there will be displays of traditional patterned quilts, as well as an exhibit of challenge quilts in which the quilter was to use the very ‘home town’ theme of New Jersey as inspiration. Quilters were encouraged to create a 100 inch perimeter wall hanging using something in our great state as the focal point. Find out what speaks to our native NJ quilters as well as group members who have moved here from other places.

Again, there will be “More Hexagons,” a quilt category which emerged in a quilt show five years ago after the Harvest Quilters held a workshop featuring hexies. Each year our quilters have come up with more and more ideas on that theme and they are always so innovative and interesting. Giving a nod to the Barn Quilt folk art movement, there will be displayed a group of smaller, garage or shed size, “barn” quilt blocks. The barn quilt movement has swept the country and Elsa Hahn will give a talk at 10:30 am featuring examples and information about the New Jersey version of the tour.

There will also be a lecture at 2:00 p.m. on dating quilts. Dana Balsamo of Material Pleasures in Princeton, NJ, will give this talk highlighting her expertise in this field. For a fee, she can also help you date and determine the worth of any historic quilts or old family coverlets you may have. So bring along that family heirloom and learn what it may be worth.

This year’s Featured Quilter will be Renate Bieber, whose favorite color of blue is featured in much of her work. Renate has been quilting for 30 years and prefers machine or paper piecing over applique.  She enjoys teaching quilting to friends and family and, most recently, has tried her hand at Art Quilts, original design quilts made without a pattern. Her work was displayed at a Kean University exhibit.

A display of Underground Railroad quilts, some made by the Friendship Quilters guild, will be of particular interest and you will learn the folk legend of how quilts may have played a part in enhancing the escape routes used by slaves in the 1800s. This is still another way that quilts, ‘the homespun art of women’s history,’ have factored into American lives and the stories of our country’s development.

You can always expect something unexpected at a Harvest Quilters’ show so be sure to see exhibit of cross-stitch embroidery, Petal Play wall hangings from a recent HQ workshop, and a retro-kitchen display.

As always, there will be a tea room where attendees can have tea, coffee, snacks, or lunch. There will also be a small vendor's mall and several fabric basket raffles, yarn baskets raffle, and a large scrap Flying Geese quilt raffle. For more information, call Ann at 908-755-7653 or go to harvestquilters.com.