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Andalusia Star News, October 25, 2023

The Cotton Street Gallery will host its first annual quilt show from Nov. 1-30 from 1 to 5 p.m. daily and seeks quilters to enter this year’s contest with two cash prizes available.

Quilters are invited to submit one quilt of any size for an entry fee of $15 before Monday, Oct. 30, and are asked to call 334-504-8824 to schedule a time for drop-off. Quilts must be submitted by the original piecer.

“I am very excited about our first annual quilt show coming up in November. We are pleased with the response we have seen from quilters all over and have reached out to 46 quilt guilds. We invite the public to join us for this special event and need your help in choosing the people’s choice for the best quilt of our show,” Cotton Street Gallery Founder Sue Wiggins said.

Quilt judge Madeline Hawley will select the Best in Show Award winner. This recipient will collect a $500 cash prize that was donated to the gallery by the Andalusia Rotary Club. In addition, a People’s Choice Award winner will be chosen from votes cast by those attending the show. This recipient will collect a $200 cash prize. Quilters may offer their quilt for sale. The gallery will receive a portion of the proceeds from each quilt sold.

Wiggins asked Teresa Nelson about holding a quilt contest. Nelson retired from PowerSouth and has two daughters and three grandchildren. She currently serves as the advisor for Cotton Street Gallery’s Quilted Treasures division.

“Our area has many talented quilters of all ages and all styles from traditional to modern. Cotton is king here, and cotton fabrics and battings are very important components of our quilts. There will be different styles to see because each quilter has his or her interpretation of what is beautiful. This is where the excitement comes in. We all have different likes and dislikes and bring our life experiences to our quilts. Being a quilter, I am aware of the local talent in our community and am excited to see what these quilters enter. I am always inspired when I attend a show and think this one will be no exception,” Nelson said.

Nelson described quilt shows as inspirational, emotional, and impressive.

“The quilts inspire us to push ourselves outside of our comfort zone and create works of art. They can also be emotional in that they can portray events in our lives, creating memories by using a loved one’s clothing to piece together a story of that life. Quilts impress us to use color and techniques we might not have considered previously and are works of art that can speak to each person differently. Quilters enjoy presenting their works of arts and fellowshipping with viewers and other quilters.”

Proceeds from the show will go towards supporting Cotton Street Gallery’s AIR Andalusia. AIR is a unique artists-in-residence program focusing on the textile events. Wiggins stated one of the gallery’s future goals is to have artists residing near the facility.

Quilting is a favorite hobby in Nelson’s family as her mom and sister both quilt.

“I have made many quilts and have a genuine love of fabrics. I remember quilts hanging from the ceiling in a quilting frame at my grandmother’s home and many of her friends sitting around the frame quilting and talking and laughing. It was a wonderful time of fellowship,” she said.

Hopes are that the quilt show will become an annual event during the fall.

“This is our first show, so we will see what kind of interest there is in future events. I think we have a chance at a new tradition here at the Gallery. I would like to thank Sue Wiggins for her leadership in this event and just would encourage all quilters to enter their work. All stages of quilters are welcomed from beginner to accomplished. Just look what notoriety the primitive quilts of Gee’s Bend have attained. All quilts have a story to tell, and I hope we have many stories to share with the attendees. Happy quilting,” Nelson said.