Quilt Festival brings out the crowds

By Frank Lewis

September 29, 2013

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

SOUTH SHORE, Ky. — Organizer Mary Lou Castle was ecstatic Saturday morning as she looked back on Friday night’s crowd at the South Shore Quilt Festival held in Rotary Park.

“It was almost like our Saturday night crowd,” Castle said. “It’s always the last weekend in September, but we were lucky. We scheduled it at a time when there was no ball game, so we were the center of attraction. It was wonderful.”

Saturday morning, some 64 vendors and 14 food vendors were set up at the park, while the quilts were on display at the First Christian Church in South Shore.

“We’ve done very well,” Bonnie Warner, chairperson of the event, said. “It has really grown this year. The festival started 11 years ago. It was held in South Shore, Ky. downtown. Marilyn Billups had started the festival. And then after four or five years we kind of stepped in and we moved it up here four years ago, and we put in electric, more water, and kind of improved the park. Grant Stevenson was kind enough to build us a stage, and then the park committee was able to raise money to pour the concrete pad for dancing.”

Warner said local people make the quilts, and they are displayed at the church and judged, with ribbons being awarded.

“The quilt that I entered is a hand-quilted quilt,” Castle said. “So it took me almost six months to quilt it. It’s for my daughter when she learns how to take care of it, she’s going to get it. A good quilt usually takes a month. That’s putting it all together from cutting it all up and putting it all back together the way you want it.”

Castle explained quilts can be produced by hand or by machine.

“I do both,” Castle said. “Hand quilting, 20 stitches a minute maybe, and my machine makes 1,600 stitches a minute. So you weigh that and see which one you’d rather do. But family heirlooms, like family gifts, baby blankets, I always hand quilt because I think that’s more special.”

Today, the festival opens at noon with gospel music. registration for the cruise-in begins at 1 p.m. as does the auction. A talent show will be held from 2-4 p.m. with a raffle drawing at 4 p.m.

“We’re raffling off a Kindle HD and a homemade quilt,” Warner said. “So we should do well with that.”

What do they do when it all comes to an end today?

“We start planning again,” Castle said. “It’s not shut down. It’s start over and start planning for next year.”

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.