Madison Expo to attract 20,000 quilt lovers

Three area residents have created quilts that have been accepted in the quilt contest at the 2016 Quilt Expo.

The 12th annual Quilt Expo, presented by Wisconsin Public Television with Nancy Zieman, runs Thursday, Sept. 8 through Saturday, Sept. 10 in the Exhibition Hall at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. An estimated 20,000 quilt lovers will attend.

Quilts accepted in the 10-category contest are judged on visual impact and stitching technique. Awards will be given for Best of Show, and first-, second- and thirdplace in each category. One quilt will be selected by attendees to receive the Viewers' Choice award.

Each year, Quilt Expo also presents a unique challenge to complement the main contest. In the 2016 Black & White Plus One Chal- lenge, all quilts must be made from fabrics in black and white, plus a single additional color of the maker’s choice.

In 2016, accepted entries have come from 31 different states and two foreign countries, including one from a military family stationed in Bahrain. Following the event, selected quilts will travel throughout the United States, representing the spirit of Quilt Expo.

Every quilt has a story, as the quilters describe.

Lori Epping, of Plymouth, entered her quilt “Sprinkles” in Category 10 (Wall Quilts, Machine Quilted - Mixed or Other Type). Epping writes: “Sprinkles' is a combination of blocks from an existing pattern and my own border design. I did the blocks in a multicolor; I designed the border to keep the quilt a little smaller. The prairie points were a first-time experience. I did all quilting myself on a HQ Sixteen.”

Ann Crowl Meyer, of Cascade, entered her quilt “Giraffes Can't Dance” in Category 4 (Machine Quilted Bed Size – Appliquéd, Mixed or Other Type). Meyer writes: “I made this for my grandson Patrick, who is almost two. I used Steam-a-Seam 2 for the appliqué and tiny zigzag stitching, fabric markers for shading and Sharpies for the lettering. Some of the bugs are threadwork. Selecting the perfect fabrics is the most fun part. I quilted it on a hand guided Gammill longarm.”

Susan Platz, of Plymouth, entered her quilt “Black, White and Red All Over” in the Black & White Plus One Challenge. Platz writes: “I made a few squares with the different fabric combinations and put them up on a board I use to design my quilts. I put the squares on point, which added more interest and made it come alive. Keeping it small was the hard part. No border on this one.”

Additional Quilt Expo highlights include hundreds of quilts on display, a vendor mall with the latest sewing and quilting products from over 200 vendors, lectures and hands-on workshops, a "Quilt to Give" community service project, a prize raffle and the opportunity to meet Zieman, host of public television’s “Sewing With Nancy,” as well as other nationally known celebrity presenters.

For more information, visit or call Mary Alice Van Gemert at 608-265-5037.

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