Goodbye To My Favorite Quilt Festival

I’ve just gotten word that the Vermont Quilt Festival (VQF) is cancelled. It has been my favorite quilt show for years, so I am especially sad to see another victim of the COVID pandemic. Here are a few photos of the wonderful quilts I’ve seen there and some of the many things I liked about the show.


Maine Coast, by Lynne Rainen at VQF in 2018

There were many wonderful things about VQF, including the fact that it was in Burlington, Vermont, a town we enjoy visiting. We especially liked the Shelburne Museum and Shelburne Farms, both just south of Burlington. The museum has a collection of antique quilts and had a show of Maria Shell’s quilts in their gallery during our visit.

Quilt building at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont

As for VQF itself, there were the usual prizes like “best in show”, but they had an award  system ensuring that almost nobody came away empty-handed. There was a relatively objective scoring system and quilts were awarded first, second, or third place ribbons based on points earned. There were three judges and their points were averaged for the final score. Best of all, each judge provided written feedback in addition to the points. I never got better than a second place, but I was well satisfied with that given the quality of quilts. I was especially happy with knowing exactly where I had done well and where I might improve.

traditional quilt VQF

Port Kent Beauty, by Alyce Fradenburg (who is from Port Kent, NY), at VQF in 2018

Another delightful part of VQF was the champagne and chocolate reception the night before the show opened! I was able to get a ticket for my husband so he could attend,  and he enjoyed seeing the quilts in that way. It was fun to visit the vendors and see the quilts in a festive atmosphere. My only mistake was taking most of my pictures while drinking champagne one year. I’m not sure those pictures were as straight as in other years 😀

Round quilt from VQF

This quilt, made from a pattern, got a 3rd place ribbonl. The circle is on a black background, so the quilt is square, VQF 2016

Finally, there was a significant children’s’ quilt contest and I believe each child who participated received a sewing machine. I am unable to uncover details of this by going back through information about the show, but it was a special part of VQF.


This quilt involved extensive work and I think it is very “artistic”. It got a 3rd place in 2016.

The show was 45 years old and had been New England’s oldest and largest quilt show. I enjoyed it and appreciate the years in which I was able to participate. I saw many wonderful quilts there and learned a lot. My thanks to all the volunteers who worked for years to make this possible. I will miss VQF and I know many others will, too.

applique quilt

These fish by Velda Newman were SO realistic! VQF 2014

My hope is that others will take some of the best aspects of this show and continue them.

18 thoughts on “Goodbye To My Favorite Quilt Festival

  1. I received that sad email too, though I don’t have the history with the show that you do. In fact, I don’t remember ever hearing of the Vermont Quilt Festival until the pandemic, when I had an opportunity to enter their online show. I did. No ribbon, but it was nice to see other modern quilts. I’m glad you had the chance to enter the show – and win ribbons! – attend, take pictures (with or without champagne), visit vendors – the whole she-bang. I can understand your disappointment that it no longer exists. I will say that I heard, while at QuiltCon Atlanta, that QuiltCon is now the largest show in the US – perhaps an indication of the direction quiltmaking is going. I hope you find another quilt show to enter and visit.

    • Thank you. I have never had a quilt accepted at QuiltCon so decided I just don’t fit their “formula”. I’ve entered AQS shows, but they are so bit that they’re less than interesting sometimes. I may try the Mancuso shows.

      • I am aware that it’s difficult to have a quilt accepted into QuiltCon. I don’t know if the new, updated definition of modern might help, as it’s not certain that the new tenets (maximalism, upcyled, pictoral, among others ) will be reflected in QuiltCon categories. Maybe. Maybe not. I’m sure it depends on sponsorship. I hope you find a show that meets your quiltmaking style and criteria.

  2. It is sad to see this closing happen. You have very special memories. Thanks for sharing the photos.
    Another sad note is that a very special quilt shop in Texas is closing. Creations, in Kerrville, Tx will soon be closing their doors. The shop’s retreat house is also closing. This house was perfect for quilting retreats. They will be missed.

    • I’m sorry you’re losing a good quilt shop and retreat house. Especially because I still harbor fantasies of visiting Texas one more time during bluebonnet season.

      • We had a pretty bluebonnet season this year. It would be fun if you could come for a bluebonnet quilt shop tour. We could get in the Clown Car and have a fun time.

  3. Pingback: Creative Juice #343 | ARHtistic License

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