Crossing it Off the Bucket List: Quilters Flock to Oaks for First Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza in Two Years

women at quilting extravaganza.
Image via Tyger Williams, The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Beverley MacGown, (right), and longtime friend and fellow quilter Jean Donahue, (left), both of Concord, N.H., display MacGown’s quilt, 'Basket and Butterfly.'

Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks welcomed quilters from around the nation for the first Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza since the start of the pandemic, writes Kevin Riordan for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

And while the crowd was smaller than in previous years, with around a third of attendees fewer than the usual 7,000 to 8,000 people, the vibe at the expo center was exuberant, just like the 600 quilts hanging on the walls.

Themes included the pandemic, politics, Philadelphia, Black heritage, Elvis, and much more.

Quilters, who are primarily women of a certain age, used the time to socialize and have fun.

“Quilters are very giving,” said Eileen Mannion of Quilting Solutions. “It’s inspiring to see all these quilts up close, rather than on a screen.”

Among the attendees were 86-year-old Beverley MacGown and 81-year-old Jean Donahue. Visiting the Pennsylvania quilt extravaganza was on the friends’ bucket list and nonprofit help them achieve their goal.

“This is the biggest quilt show I’ve ever been in,” said Donahue.

The 28th annual Extravaganza started on Thursday last week and concluded on Sunday.

Read more about the event in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Seamless Sewing Arts shows a behind-the-scenes look at setting up to vend at the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza. Watch as Denise and her helpers create a mini-boutique at the Oaks quilt show.