Summer Showcase Celebrates Local Quilting
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BENSALEM, Pa. (WLVT) - Colors, fabrics and designs come alive this summer at the Bucks County Visitor Center. The 15th annual Bucks County Quilt Show celebrates the art of local quilting.

Rose Miller, a Washington Crossing resident, made her first quilt 35 years ago. Since then, she said she's made around 120 -- and she's not done yet.

“This is my passion. This is what I do," she told PBS39 Friday. "I even wake up at like 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning with ideas and scratching it on a piece of paper, go back to sleep, and then, I can’t wait to wake up to start working.”

Miller has 23 quilts on display at her exhibit at the Quilt Show, “Reflections of a Fiber Artist: Past and Present,” which features contemporary Africana quilt making.

“When I think back generations, I think of quilters, my ancestors who quilted, and I would like to keep that legacy alive," she said.

Miller is one of 68 quilters featured at the Quilt Show. Bucks County is home to several quilting guilds, and the industry is well represented at the show, with 107 quilts in the main gallery.

“We’ve got quilters from Levittown, from the Doylestown area, so, it’s quilters throughout the county that have their works on display," said Paul Bencivengo, president and chief operating officer of Visit Bucks County. "They take a lot of pride, and we see the quilters come in. They bring their families and their friends."

The Quilt Show attracts 3,000 visitors every year. This year, the show started on June 30. So far, Visit Bucks County estimates 500 people have stopped by. That includes some local quilters and their friends they want to inspire.

Jo Anne Blase, a Warminster resident, said she started with a T-shirt quilt for her daughter’s high school graduation. She told PBS39 that two of her friends taught her and three others about quilting, and they have been making pieces ever since.

“It is addicting. It is a creative outlet. It really is," she said. "I’ve tried hand quilting -- two and a half years, I do have something -- and applique. There are so many different ways, and I just like to try different things.”

The quilts on display feature intricate artwork in a variety of forms: from a chair and pillow to a 3-D quilt with a sunflower and butterflies.

At Miller’s exhibit, all but two of the quilts are her own creations. One of the others was a collaboration with quilters across the country.

“When I send my centerpiece to the next quilter, the next quilter will bind it or make a border," Miller said, "and then, she will send it to the next quilter, and the next quilter will border it."

Some of the quilts showcase Bucks County with images of familiar places and landmarks.

The Bucks County Visitor Center is hosting a Quilt Show Speaker Series that kicked off Saturday afternoon.

"Arts and culture has been a part of the fabric -- no pun intended -- of Bucks County," Bencivengo said.

The quilts are on display through September 2 at the Bucks County Visitor Center in Bensalem, near Parx Casino. To learn more about the Quilt Show and the speaker series, click HERE.