The Hippo


Jul 21, 2019








10th Annual World Quilt Show
Where: Radisson Center of New Hampshire, 700 Elm St., Manchester
When: Thursday, Aug. 16, through Saturday, Aug. 18, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: $12 Thursday through Saturday (re-admission is free), $10 on Sunday. Children younger than 16 get in free. Workshops have additional registration fees. Go to to view the full schedule.
Workshops include:
• “That Perfect Stitch” with Diedrra McElroy, Thursday, Aug. 16, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., $65
• “This Guy Must be Nuts” on Thursday, Aug. 16, at 4:30 p.m., $20.
• “Really Sharp Piecing” on Friday, Aug. 17, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., $70
• “Folk Garden Borders: Machine Applique Techniques” on Friday, Aug. 17, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• World Quilt Panel & Forum Ice Cream Social on Friday, Aug. 17, at 4:30 p.m., free with festival admission
• Dierdra McElroy lecture on Saturday, Aug. 18, at 12:30 p.m., about traditional quilt-making in Tahiti. Lunch is included. $28.

Perfect stitches and sharp piecing
Quilters of the world compete and cooperate at show

By Kelly Sennott

George Siciliano became interested in quilting in 1997. It started, he jokes, because he wanted his wife, award-winning quilter Virginia Siciliano, to make him a nice miniature quilt he’d seen.
“This is a pretty quilt — will you make me one of these today?” he asked. Virginia hadn’t been feeling that well that day, he said. She responded, “If you like it that much, why don’t you just make it yourself?”
He did, and he became so passionate about quilting that he and his wife, who live in Pennsylvania, now quilt, teach and lecture together all across the country. They’ll do so at Manchester’s 10th Annual World Quilt Show, Thursday, Aug. 16, through Sunday, Aug. 19, at the Radisson downtown (700 Elm St., Manchester).
Belying the hobby’s reputation as a woman’s pursuit, the Quilt Show will feature a number of other male quilting instructors as well, said David Mancuso, who co-founded the show with his brother, Peter Mancuso.
The show is fun for all levels of quilters, George said, so even those “half interested” in quilting will have a good time. He and his wife have participated in many of the seven quilt shows and festivals that Mancuso Show Management holds each year, but this show in Manchester is the only one that features an international competition. Handmade quilts, machine-made quilts, innovative quilts and craft quilts are all judged on their vibrancy and precision, with entries from Australia, Canada, Germany, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, the U.K. and the U.S. They compete for more than $10,000 in prize money, with “Best of Country” awards, a “Viewer’s Choice” award (visitors can vote on this at the show) and the coveted “Best of World” award.
But the show is also a place where quilters and would-be quilters can go to learn, and to see amazing textile art. More than 400 quilts from 10 countries will be on display in the Merchants Mall, as will fabrics, machines, textiles, quilting supplies, books and kits — everything one needs need for quilting. The Merchants Mall is open during all show hours.
There will be lectures and workshops as well, on topics such as “That Perfect Stitch,” “Really Sharp Piercing” and “Folk Garden Borders: Machine Applique Techniques.” A separate fee is charged for workshops, and participants are asked to bring their own materials and sewing machines for those classes that require them.
George and Virginia give a lecture called “This Guy Must Be Nuts.” It used to be called “Good Things Come in Small Packages,” because it features some miniature quilts, but, George says, they changed the title in response to a comment by a lecture/workshop attendee: “As she was leaving, I heard her say, ‘This guy must be nuts!’ probably because of the detail I use in my quilts, so we changed it. This name also seems to draw in more attendees,” George said. His lecture showcases the evolution of both his and Virginia’s work. Each of them now has a quilt on permanent exhibit at the American Quilt Museum in Paducah, Ky.
At the show, quilters and newbies can do some informal networking during the World Quilt Panel & Forum Ice Cream Social on Friday, Aug. 17, at 4:30 p.m. The panel is composed of influential quilt and textile artists from around the world: Barbara Barber, Marjan Kluepfel, Sue Nickels and Virginia Siciliano. Admission to the social is included with regular show admission.
On Saturday, Aug. 18, at 12:30 p.m., California quilter Dierdra McElroy presents a lunchtime lecture about traditional quilt-making in Tahiti, where she grew up, and where the craft is intertwined with every aspect of culture and history.
David and Peter try to make a weekend out of the event. “Manchester is a great destination. We find that people really want to come up there,” David said.
“I always say to my students, quilting is supposed to be fun. If you’re not having fun, then you should pick up golf,” George said.

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