International Quilt Festival returns to Long Beach for its fourth year

<strong>Portugal (Minho Region) Folkloric Dancers by Leslie Gabriëlse</strong>

Portugal (Minho Region) Folkloric Dancers by Leslie Gabriëlse

Bringing together quilt artists and aficionados from all over the world, the summer edition of the International Quilt Festival will return to the Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd. from Friday, July 29 to Sunday, July 31, with a preview night and classes beginning Thursday, July 28.
For the fourth consecutive year, the Festival will feature more than 500 quilts and pieces of textile art on display, shopping at almost 300 booths, and more than 85 classes on all skill levels from some of the world’s leading instructors.
“We are thrilled about coming back to Long Beach because we know that the southern California area in particular is a ‘hotbed’ of quilting activity, as well as being home to a lot of amazing fabric artists,” says Festival founder and director Karey Bresenhan. “And you don’t even have to be a quilter to enjoy seeing incredible art on display.”
Among the special exhibits of quilts making their debut at the Long Beach Festival are conceptual ones like “The Space Between” and “Bridges,” along with the annual “West Coast Wonders” collection, and “California Guilds’ Award-winning Traditional Quilts.”
Shopping is also a big aspect of the show, with vendors from all over the world offering finished antique and contemporary quilts, fabrics, books, notions, sewing machines, antiques, crafts, and more for sale.
“Anything you need to start quilting, sewing, making pillows, skirts, or other home dec items, you can find it on the show floor,” Bresenhan says. “And we’ve seen an upsurge in recent years in younger women taking to the art form.”
According to the most recent Quilting in America survey, US quilters spend more than $3.6 billion annually on their passion. And according to USA Today, that’s more than golfers, fisherman, or hunters spend on their hobbies.
“While quilting is a storied and traditional art form, it has definitely changed,” Bresenhan says. “Quilts of long ago were made for utilitarian purposes or to keep warm, but most quilts made today are pieces of art meant to be hung on a wall and not laid on a bed. And no matter how many modern quilts I see, the creativity and the passion and the talent of their makers never ceases to amaze me.”
Hours of the festival are 10am to 7pm Friday and Saturday, and 10am to 3pm on Sunday. Daily tickets are $10 adults and $8 for students and seniors. Children 10 and under are free. Preview night (Thursday, July 28 from 5pm to 9pm) ticket good for one additional day for free. Tickets can be purchased online and printed at quilts.com.

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