Perhaps no other craft combines practicality and artistry more than quilts, which can feature storytelling, intricate geometric designs, and vibrant colors and patterns. This month up to 200 quilts cover Roswell’s Bulloch Hall for the 34th Great American Cover-Up Quilt Show (March 4 through 13). Draped over beds and hung on walls, the blankets are made by artists from all over the Southeast, including Bulloch Hall Quilt Guild member Diane Knott, whose quilts are featured in a special exhibition. The Cumming resident has been stitching since 1997, when she made a blanket for her daughter.
“I had grown up sleeping under a quilt made by my great-grandmother, and I wanted my baby to have one,” she says. Show cochairman Sharyl Dawes adds, “It’s about passing down a skill from generation to generation.” Indeed, the history of the craft is a focus of the show. Quilting caught on in Europe and the U.S. in the late 1700s and—except for a period following WWII when the practice fell out of favor—has remained popular. In Georgia, quilt clubs, or guilds, began popping up in the 1980s, organized under the larger Georgia Quilt Council. During the 1996 Olympics, council members stitched two quilts to give to each of the 200 participating countries.
This article originally appeared in our March 2016 issue under the headline “Blanket Statement.”