Painting With Fabric

The 2018 Quilt Festival is headed to Hilton Head Island this month, showcasing color and creativity.

On March 23-25, quilters from throughout the Lowcountry and across the U.S. will converge on Hilton Head Island for the Palmetto Quilt Guild’s 2018 Quilt Festival at Hilton Head Beach & Tennis Resort.

“The 2018 Quilt Festival is really an art exhibit featuring extraordinary quilts,” said festival chair Lynn Gavett. “We will have classic, traditional quilts, as well as the most unusual and creative art quilts. You will see everything in terms of what somebody might quilt.”

Attendees will have the opportunity to appreciate 172 quilts on display, explore a special marketplace featuring handcrafted items and enjoy an array of shopping opportunities. In addition, a special quilt competition, silent auction and raffle will be a part of the festival fun. On the third day of the show, a lucky raffle winner will take home Floral Splendor, a quilt which was custom- made by 22 Guild members, incorporating both applique and paper piecing techniques.

“We will have incredible vendors joining us, some of which are fabric-oriented, but we also will have beautiful dish towels, turned woodwork and French baskets,” enthused Gavett. “The boutique will sell creative baby blankets, table runners, placemats, pin cushions and so much more.”

Quilting is a remarkably artistic medium, which allows for a great deal of creative expression.

“You can take the same pattern and have two quilters make it, and each one would be totally unique,” Gavett explained. “There’s a lot of individuality in quilting, in terms of color selection.”

The Palmetto Quilt Guild was formed in 1991 with a mission to promote the art of quilting. With over 160 members from Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, Beaufort, Savannah and the Lowcountry, as well as part-time residents from throughout the United States, the organization is keeping the long-held tradition of quilting alive and strong. In addition, the Palmetto Quilt Guild’s outreach program donates more than 300 handmade quilts a year to local charities, providing wheelchair bags, memory mats and lap quilts to veterans, retirement communities and schools.

“We’re a local guild, but we have members throughout the region and from all over the United States,” said Gavett. “We’re so excited for this year’s event. We’ll have exquisite quilts on display by artists who have exhibited all around the country.”

The 2018 Quilt Festival offers the opportunity to see some of the most creative quilts in the region and to learn more about this unique art form. Many of the quilters with work on display are nationally recognized, award-winning artists whose designs have won awards at the largest shows throughout the country.

“I truly think of quilting as painting with fabric,” said Gavett. “There’s no other event like it in the area.”

Did You Know?

While the exact origins of quilting are unknown, historians believe that quilting, piecing and applique techniques were used for clothing and furnishings in early times. In fact, the earliest known quilted garment is depicted on the carved ivory figure of a Pharaoh of the Egyptian First Dynasty, which dates to approximately 3400 B.C.

In the late 11th century, crusaders brought quilting to Europe from the Middle East. Quilts were used for warmth and comfort under knights’ armor and also to protect the metal from the elements. On display in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the earliest known surviving bed quilt came from Sicily and features blocks across the center detailing scenes from the legend of Tristan.

If You Go

  • What: 2018 Quilt Festival, presented by the Palmetto Quilt Guild
  • When: March 23-25, 2018, Friday & Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Where: Hilton Head Beach & Tennis Resort
  • 40 Folly Field Rd., Hilton Head Island, SC
  • Cost: $10 admission
  • More Info: