SACKETS HARBOR — The featured artist at the annual quilt show here has a patchwork of life experiences that have helped to inspire her colorful creations.
Elizabeth B. Burdick is a lifetime sewer, but took up quilting a decade ago.
“My mom suffered from dementia and I was her caregiver,” Ms. Burdick said. “I needed something I could pick up and put down easily while I was taking care of her.”
She received an invitation to join a small group of local quilters, which further honed her craft.
“They taught me the language, because there’s a special one,” Ms. Burdick said.
Her mom, Paula (VanValkenburgh) Wardwell, died in 2013. But Ms. Burdick kept quilting.
“Like our other featured north country quilters over the years, Beth has a keen eye for color and pattern, with an amazing ‘piecing’ ability,” said Christine Eggleston, co-organizer of the annual Sackets Harbor Quilt Show, sponsored by Hay Memorial Library.
This year’s show, “Patchwork on the Porch,” is noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Like last year, quilts will be displayed on porches around the village for a walking tour as a precaution during the continuing pandemic.
But some quilts will be displayed at local businesses, the Village Hall at 112 N. Broad St., select historic sites and at Hay Memorial Library, 105 S. Broad St.
Ms. Burdick will display about a dozen of her quilts at the library, an appropriate location for her. As the former president of the Hay Memorial Library Association, she was one of the leads in getting funding for a new library for the village. In 2003, the facility moved from the United Presbyterian church to its current spot.
Ms. Burdick, who once ran a bakery in the village, is a graduate of the Cornell College of Human Ecology in Ithaca, majoring in textiles and clothing.
“We were taught to be problem solvers,” she said.
She started sewing when she was about 9 — doing so for herself and for her dolls.
“My first sewing project was a very simple skirt. After that, I made the majority of my own school clothes,” she said.
She creates about a dozen quilts a year.
“I’m a machine-piecer, primarily,” she said. “I do maybe one a year by hand. The colors draw me in. I love fabric and color, especially if it’s an unusual one that’s not a fad and not something everybody else is using. I call it ‘fabric therapy’ — going into a fabric store and just browsing to see what combination I can put together.”
She sews and pieces her quilts together on a vintage Singer Featherweight machine.
“It was purchased by my grandmother, probably in the year it was made, in 1948,” Ms. Burdick said. “My grandmother used it and my mother used it, both of them mainly for mending rather than sewing. It’s what I learned to sew on. I’ve had some fancier machines but I keep going back to the Featherweight.”
This year’s quilt show will feature two challenges — one nationally based and one local.
The Hoffmann Challenge is an annual international quilting competition. California-based Hoffman Fabrics sponsors and curates the show. The 2020-2021 contest is based on Hoffman’s “Garden State of Mind” collection.
The local challenge is themed “Out of the Blue.” Entries must use at least 50% blue fabrics in the quilt.
“This is a people’s choice award, not juried or curated,” Mrs. Eggleston said. “First, second, and third place is awarded based on in-person, popular vote.”
n WHAT: Sackets Harbor Quilt Show, “Patchwork on the Porch,” sponsored by Hay Memorial Library.
n WHEN: Noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 2 and 3.
n WHERE: On porches in the village and at local businesses, the Village Hall at 112 N. Broad St., select historic sites and at Hay Memorial Library, 105 S. Broad St.
n COST: Admission passport donation of $4. Passports and maps available at the Village Hall and Hay Memorial Library.
n SPECIAL EXHIBITS: Hoffman International Challenge, “Out of the Blue” challenge quilts, historic woven coverlets from Thousand Islands Arts Center and featured artist Elizabeth Burdick.