29 July, 2010
The Vermont Quilt Festival (VQF) just recently celebrated its 34th Anniversary as New England's oldest quilt show - and it is widely considered one of the top quilting shows in the country. For years, VQF has had many categories for quilt entrants to submit their work to be judged and displayed in the show. One of these categories is for youth, age seventeen and younger.
Things changed at this past year's show when Dave LaValley, a top national Janome dealer who runs Bittersweet Fabric Shop in Boscawen, New Hampshire and represents Janome at VQF, had an idea....
Dave approached Lorraine Hall, Contest Chairman of the VQF board about sponsoring an award for these young quilters and also giving each youth entrant a new Janome sewing machine. The board liked the idea and Dave gathered the machines.
The presentation of the sewing machines were kept secret until opening ceremonies for the show on Thursday, June 25. One can imagine the total shock and surprise, not only of the youth entrants pictured here but the entire audience who rose to their feet and gave a standing ovation when Dave and the board presented these children with their brand new Janome MyStyle100 sewing machines. The first Janome America/Bittersweet Fabric Shop Lt. Governor's Award for Best Youth Quilt was won by 10 year old Emily Gagnon of Shelburne, Vermont.
Richard Cleveland, VQF founder and board member, told the audience that it was one of the most memorable moments in the show's 34 year history. And we at Janome, in celebration of our 150th anniversary, think it is one of ours as well. Thank you to the VQF board, Dave and these tremendous children for allowing us to be part of this great show and presentation.
Photos by Jeffrey Lomicka courtesy of Vermont Quilt Festival.