DANVILLE — The quilts hanging at the Vermilion County Museum draw a variety of reactions from visitors. Some marvel at the colors and workmanship, while others quietly make mental notes for their own projects.
One piece, called “Quilt Diva,” brings giggles and nods of agreement — especially from the quilters who see themselves in the cartoon figure, who wears a measuring tape as a headband.
“That’s so true,” Barbara Bates of Champaign said, laughing, as her friend Sandee Aune of Mahomet agreed. “I love it.”
The appliqué piece, quilted by Sherry Fourez, is one of 75 entries on exhibit at the museum through July as part of the 31st annual Midwest Quilt Show.
The show attracts many out-of-towners, such as Bates and Aune, as well as locals.
Describing herself as a beginner quilter, Jody Legett of Danville said, “I come every year.”
She’s a member of the Vermilion Valley Quilters Guild, and knows many of the quilters in the show.
Besides traditional quilts, the show features a range of styles and topics, including clothing and bags. The quilts and wall hangings feature animals, scenery, flowers (some in 3-D), baby designs, veterans’ military service, wildlife, family members’ names, and many others.
Hanging side-by-side are two quilts that were awarded best of show. Candice Justice of Frankfort won for her embroidered quilt “Roses for the Archbishop,” and Debra Janik of Plainfield won for her pieced 1950 to present quilt “Mariner’s Compass.”
Some of the quilts tell stories. “Underground Railroad Sampler” by Faye Williamson and Joy Boggs is a tribute to the story that quilts were used to direct slaves to get ready for escape.
Another, “Veteran Ancestors,” made by Teresa Clayton, tells the stories of family members who have served, going back to the Revolutionary War. Donald Weaver and Donald Clayton signed their individual blocks; James Whisler’s original design represents his submarine service.