In the fall of 1982, two quilters admiring a display of quilts at a church fair said, “Let’s put on a quilt show!” They recognized that there were numerous talented and creative people in the Hudson Valley and a show would give them an opportunity to share their creativity.
In early 1983, the two quilters and friends met to begin planning a quilt show to celebrate Dutchess County’s 300th anniversary. This organizing group, which was first known as Dutchess Heritage Quilters, and whose name was later changed to The Dutchess Heritage Quilt Show Committee, persevered in their quest to find a sponsor and location for a show.
Dutchess Community College (DCC) was approached and Dr. F. Kennon Moody, Dean of the Office of Community Services, encouraged the quilters to continue pursuing their plans with the full and enthusiastic cooperation of the college. The first show, a partnership between the Dutchess Heritage Quilters, volunteers from First Dutchess Quilters and Dutchess Community College, was held at the college on June 4 and 5, 1983. To the delight of all concerned, the biannual Dutchess Heritage Quilt Show was born!
Frames used for display of the quilts at the first show were borrowed from the Northern Star Quilter’s Guild, Somers, NY. DCC was kind enough to provide a truck and driver to transport the frames to and from Somers. When it was decided to make the show a biennial event, DCC provided the funds for the supplies needed to build our own frames. Albert (Pete) Waltz designed and built frames we continue to use today.
Proceeds from the first show were used to start the Dutchess Heritage Quilt Show account. After each show, a small amount of money is kept in that account to cover the beginning expenses for the next show. The balance of the proceeds from the raffle quilt and the show are then given to the Dutchess Community College Foundation to be added to the Dutchess Heritage Quilt Show Scholarship Fund. The scholarship was awarded each year to one student in the Art Department.
Thanks to the efforts of the Dutchess Heritage Quilt Show Committee, First Dutchess Quilters and the continuing support of Dutchess Community College, the amount of our yearly scholarship award has continued to grow. We are pleased to report that beginning in 2016, we were able to provide two scholarships, each covering one full semester’s tuition.
This history of collaboration continues in 2017 as Dutchess Heritage Quilt Show XVIII offers congratulations to Dutchess Community College as it celebrates 60 years of service to our community.