quilt shows

The Raleigh Original Sewing and Quilt Expo with Mary Kerr!!

Nine Little Ducks, Mary Kerr (Quilter: Ginny Rippe)

Recycled Hexies Exhibit

What’s better than going to a quilt show? Not having to travel for a quilt show! For an avid quilter, nothing beats having a quilt show come to you. Even if the one that comes to your town isn’t the largest you’ve ever been to, they are still inspiring. I always get ideas from the quilts on display, and I always find fabric I like. I took the afternoon off from my day job to attend The Raleigh Original Sewing and Quilt Expo.

As a lover of vintage textiles, and finding ways to incorporate these textiles into quilts, I was over the moon to hear that Mary Kerr would be in my zip code. If you aren’t familiar with her, she has taken vintage quilts to a new extreme. According to the bio on her website, she “Lectures and conducts workshops that focus on quilt history and the preservation of antique textiles.” If you peruse the workshops on her website, you will see they focus on creative and innovative ways to bring new life to vintage quilt blocks, vintage fabrics, and scraps of vintage embellishments and to also create new quilts from vintage quilt block patterns. She is a seasoned author and you might recognize one of her most recent titles, Twisted: Modern Quilts with a Vintage Twist.

Two exhibits curated by her were on display “Old Glory” and “Recycled Hexies.” I took pictures and compiled them into two galleries below. Click on any picture in this post and it will open into a larger view.

Old Glory

A Patriotic Ring

Vintage Double Wedding Ring top circa 1935. Quilted in 2013 by DeLoa Jones, wife of a Vietnam veteran, daughter of WWII veteran.

“Old Glory” is an exhibit of vintage red, white, and blue quilt tops donated and then finished by long arm quilters with ties to the military. The quilters donated their time after receiving the top and backing and the instructions to “Quilt as Desired.” Quilt tops which were not well made, damaged, or otherwise unremarkable were purposely chosen for this exhibit. They promote the Quilts of Valor program. They will travel as a collection for 18-24 months and will then be auctioned off to raise money for the Quilts of Valor fund.

Recycled Hexies

When Pigs Fly

Vintage Fragments circa 1940

Created by Mary Kerr

Quilted by Shannon Shirley

When I first became interested in repurposing vintage textiles into quilts, I was excited to discover Mary Kerr, who has made a name for herself doing just that. Hexies have been a popular pattern that has stood the test of time.  In this particular exhibit, “Recycled Hexies,” Mary takes vintage hexie parts and transforms them into new quilts to be admired. She also has written a book on this topic called Recycled Hexie Quilts: Using Vintage Hexagons in Today’s Quilts.

A Summer Garden

Vintage fragments circa 1920; Created by Mary Kerr; Quilted by Kelly Cline

Nine Little Ducks

Vintage fragments circa 1940; Created by Mary Kerr; Quilted by Ginny Rippe

Baby Blue

Vintage Fragments circa 1920-30

Created by Mary Kerr

Quilted by Didi Salvatierra

Apron Strings

Vintage Fragments circa 1920-40

Created by Mary Kerr

Quilted by Marty Vint


Vintage Fragments circa 1900

Created by Mary Kerr

Quilted by Doris Bloomer

The Rest of the Show

“Quilt Remix” is for vintage patterns with a modern twist. A vintage pattern is the starting point, and they are remixed until they take on a life of their own. This was featured by Kelly Bowser as the host of the series on QNNtv.com.

“Black and White Plus One Challenge” is collection of quilts featuring black and white and one additional color. I took pictures of my two favorite!

Rockin Pups

Sabrina Marton of Naperville, IL

Yo-yos, dog buttons, and fussy cut paw prints fused to the border

Song of the Butterflies

Carol Shadis Carter of Marshfield, WI


What About You?

Have you ever had a class from Mary Kerr or from one of your favorite quilters? I’d love to hear about it. What are some local quilt shows in your area?

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