Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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July 13, 2014

Pursuing the craft

Aloha Hoy — ‘Hawaiian Wedding Quilt’ has been selected to compete

BLUEFIELD — A local woman who has passionately pursued the craft since her introduction to quilting in the early 1980s, has had one of her creations selected to compete in the prestigious American Quilter’s Society’s “International Quilt Show,” July 30-Aug. 2, at the Charlotte, N.C., Convention Center.

Carolyn Demopoulos of Bluefield has learned that the AQS has selected her quilt, “Hawaiian Wedding Quilt,” as a semifinalist in the international field of 182 quilters who will be vying for one of seven overall awards where more than $50,000 will be awarded with a $10,000 prize to the “Best of Show.”

“I’m really honored just to be selected for this show,” Demopoulos said. “The show in Charlotte used to be held in Nashville, Tenn., and I used to attend it every year just to see the quilts. At this year’s Paducah, Ky., quilt show, a lady from Belgium was the overall winner and there were ladies from Japan among the top winners. Being selected as a semifinalist for the Charlotte Show is a great honor for me.”

Demopoulos started quilting in earnest more than three decades ago when she took a quilting class that was taught by Margaret Meador at the Mercer County 4-H Camp at Glenwood Park. “I’ve been at it ever since,” she said.

Demopoulos creates hand-stitched quilts, and works in the evenings while she’s watching television, or sitting on her back porch watching the birds and squirrels. “We have squirrel-proof bird feeders, but we also feed the squirrels too,” she said.

“This same quilt that I entered in the Charlotte Show, I had previously entered in a show at Hampton Roads, Va.,” Demopoulos said. She explained that each quilt has to have information about the pattern-maker as well as the quilter, and approval from the pattern-maker that the quilt follows the pattern.

“I had seen a wall-hanging with this pattern, and I went to Wytheville, Va., to get enough fabric for a five-block wall hanging,” she said. “After I completed it, Denos (her husband, Denos Demopoulos) told me that it was so pretty that I ought to make it as a full quilt. I told him I would do it if they had enough fabric in Wytheville. Well, I have now a 13-block quilt created from the pattern that a lady out West had made.”

She described herself as a “traditionalist” in terms of making quilts. “It has taken me four years to make this quilt,” she said. “Of course, I worked on other quilts during that time including the quilts I made for the Ronald McDonald House and for Abel Crisis Pregnancy Center. It’s all done by hand,” she said of her Hawaiian Wedding Quilt.

There are quilts from 37 states and seven foreign countries entered in the AQS Charlotte Show. The show is expected to draw about 15,000 people, according to an AQS press release.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com

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