Quilting Themed Travel Itineraries
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Quilting Along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail
Quilts are a reflection of daily life and national history, a practical pastime and cultural expression, an accessible art and an increasingly popular theme for travelers on the Great Lakes Seaway Trail. We invite you to pause along the 518-mile National Scenic Byway at sites offering quilting classes, shows, and viewing of historic, newly-made reproduction, and contemporary quilts.
Traveling west to east, start in Erie, Pennsylvania, at Millcreek Sewing and Fabric where eight fabulous women share their enthusiasm and skills for appliqué and bargello, matching colors with patterns, and Sashiko quilting.
Combine quilt classes at the Calico Patch shop in North East, PA, with local winery touring.
Hundreds of quilts, trunk shows, classes, and nationally-known lecturers distinguish the annual September Quilting Around Chautauqua event at the venerable Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, NY.
In Amherst, guests are welcome at the Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village’s monthly quilt guild meetings of 150+ members. The guild has reproduced numerous delicate quilts c.1820-1890 here for use in 10 historic buildings on the Village grounds.
In Orleans County, more than 50 quilt block patterns from The Farmer’s Daughter to Hole in the Barn Door and Circling Swallows are handpainted on buildings on the Country Barn Quilt Trail of Western New York. Follow the map available at Partyka Farms in Kendall to enjoy this 22-mile loop tour south and back to the Great Lakes Seaway Trail byway.
At Genesee Country Village & Museum in Mumford, 1850s-costumed interpreters have reproduced Lady of the Lake, Red and White Star, and other-pattern quilts for the living history site’s 68 buildings. Each year, they choose a pattern to work on May-October. The museum’s original historic quilts, preserved in climate-controlled storage, can be viewed by special appointment with the Curator of Collections.
Palmyra’s Alling Coverlet Museum includes a quilt room and a large collection of American hand-woven coverlets in a 1901 former newspaper office.
The Sodus Bay Quilters were inspired by one of the byway’s historic lighthouse to design a “12 Months at Old Sodus Lighthouse” quilt that won the 2005 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Quilt Show Viewers’ Choice honors.
The highly anticipated, juried Quilts=Art=Quilts exhibition takes place annually (late fall through early January) at Schweinfurth Art Center in Auburn with quilts from around the world. Half-a-dozen fiber-based workshops are offered here each year.
Oswego’s Richardson-Bates House Museum boasts a Japanese Plate Crazy Quilt made in 1890 and an 1898 Victorian-style Mourning Quilt. A Friendship Quilt made by the Oswego Newcomers Club for the 1976 Good Housekeeping Great Quilt Contest depicts where each member lived prior to moving to the Great Lakes Seaway Trail waterfront city. Call for special arrangements to see these quilts.
In Clayton, the Thousand Islands Arts Center has a world-class collection of 20th century American handwoven textiles with original swatches, letters, photos, journals, and recordings.
In Canton, the St. Lawrence County Historical Association’s Silas Wright House has 50 quilts made or used in the county 1830-1940, including crazy and autograph quilts, and a 2003 bicentennial map quilt made by the Borderline Quilters with local history icons inside the shapes of the county’s 32 towns. Call ahead for a viewing appointment.
Quilt Barn Quilt Tour
Great Lakes Seaway Trail Orleans County Country Barn Quilt Trail: A first-of-its-kind travel experience for New York State – a 22-mile loop tour off the Great Lakes Seaway Trail byway to see more than 50 quilt blocks painted on barns in the Town of Kendall. Travelers can follow a free audio tour accessible by cell phone or collect a map available at Seaway Trail Inc. member Partyka Farms Market at 1420 County Line Road, 3 miles south of the Seaway Trail.
2012 – “War of 1812 International Quilt Exhibit”
2012 marked the 200th Anniversary Year of the War of 1812, much of which was fought along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail. The 2012 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Quilt Show featured the War of 1812 Quilt Challenge with “cot to coffin” size quilts in 1812-era fabrics.
“Icons of 1812”
Janice Toonders, Martina Bols, Linda Brown, Mary Casselman, Christine Christie, Ivah Malkin, Marjorie Munroe, Judy Neville, and Sharon Shaver – Upper Canada Village, Morrisburg, Ontario
“Underhill Tree of Life Whole-Cloth Quilt”
Jill C. Meszaros – Cambridge Springs, PA
2011 – “Seaway Trail Published Quilter’s Showcase”
Quilters who live in the Great Lakes Seaway Trail region of New York and Pennsylvania and have published their own patterns, books or designs, or been featured in quilting publications, were the highlight of the March 19-20, 2011 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Quilt Show.
For a beautiful 12 minute video of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail 2011 Quilt Show click here. Thank you to Dick and Jo Belmont.
2010 – “Circles and Wheels”
Dyan Swamp, Hogansburg, NY
“All Year ‘Round”
Town Barn Quilters: Beth Burdick, Christine Eggleston, Jan LaDuke, Diane Nier, Leona Webb, and Karen Williams, Sackets Harbor, NY
“Wheel of Mystery”
Mary Knapp, Watertown, NY
Best Depiction of Circles & Wheels on the Great Lakes Seaway Trail
“Historic & Modern Day Seaway Trail”
Beverly Filkins, Pulaski
2009 – “Favorite Great Lakes Seaway Trail Places”
“Heron on the Seaway Trail”
Anne Fisher, Springwater, NY
“A Dream Voyage: Sailing the Seaway”
Kim Keller, Norwood, NY
“The Toad: A Wetlands Favorite in the Eastern Lake Ontario Dunes & Wetlands”
Mary Knapp, Watertown, NY
“A 1000 Islands Seaway Trail Experience”
April Neisz and Thousand Islands International Tourism Council, Alexandria Bay, NY
Best Seaway Trail Story Quilt
“My Selkirk Lighthouse Adventure”
Nancy Smith, Syracuse, NY
The quilt Nancy Smith of Syracuse, NY, entered in the 2006 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Quilt Show competition won her an overnight stay at Selkirk Lighthouse in Port Ontario on Lake Ontario. Smith later designed and made a quilt to commemorate that family adventure. When the “Favorite Seaway Trail Places” theme was announced for the 2009 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Quilt Show competition at the Seaway Trail Discovery Center in Sackets Harbor, NY, Smith knew she had to send “Our Seaway Trail Lighthouse Adventure” to the show.
2008 – Feathers & Fowl: Birds of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail
by Anne Fischer
“Birds in Full View”
by Alice Wilhoit
by Liz Funnell
Runner Up Winner
by Patty Blickwedehl