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Valley Quilters Hang 'em High

August 6, 2012

Members of the Valley Quilters handle admissions and raffle tickets under a canopy of quilts at Saturday's 19th annual Americana Festival Quilters' Jubilee. This year marks the ninth time the quilt show and sale has been held at the Barnes County Courthouse since it was moved from the North Dakota Winter Show.

Over 100 quilted items were on display at the Valley Quilters 19th annual Americana Festival Quilters' Jubilee at the Barnes County Courthouse in Valley City on Saturday.
Quilts, place mats and purses hung from railings and walls on all three floors as a quilters' rummage sale operated in the basement.
Valley Quilter Linda Carico said it usually takes an average of five hours to hang them all.
"You've got to make decisions putting them up, no decisions taking them down.
The first Valley Quilters quilt show began at the Winter Show and was moved to the courthouse nine years ago. Carico said the group plans to keep using the courthouse, "unless they kick us out."
"It's really a good venue. You get to see the old historic courthouse itself, but it's just a great place to hang all these and there's a big room for our rummage sale. It's just handy, elevator wise, anybody can come and see the court show, it's accessible," Carico said.
The full-size quilts usually take an experienced quilter about two months to complete, depending on the pattern. Most were from North Dakota towns, but a few from Minnesota and Wisconsin also made an appearance. Most had titles, and named the piecers and quilters, but some were made by unknown people. Margie Lima of the Valley Quilters said piecing is the actual hand-stitching of the design, while quilting, now most commonly done by machines, is what puts the final product together.
"There's usually three layers to a quilt: The top, back and then there's a batting in the center," Lima said. "The machine-quilter combines the three. It always used to be done by hand because there's no such thing as machine quilting, but that takes for ever. Now the majority of people use machines."
Lima said there are some that can be done on "free-motion quilting" machines at home, but many are done by companies with larger machines that very few people have in their house.

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