Local Quilters to Display at Birds of a Feather Longarm Quilting Expo at Virginia Beach February 6-8

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Three hundred fifty to 400 quilters are expected to attend the “Birds of a Feather Longarm Quilting Extravaganza” at the Founders Inn and Spa in Virginia Beach February 6 – 8. “Birds of a Feather” is free to the public, who may stop in and test drive the INNOVA Quilting System and shop the vendors.

Carol Darby at Keep on Quilting at T-Shirt Express and More

“Birds of a Feather” is free to the public, who may stop in and test drive the INNOVA Quilting System and shop the vendors.

Three hundred fifty to 400 quilters are expected to attend the “Birds of a Feather Longarm Quilting Extravaganza” at the Founders Inn and Spa in Virginia Beach February 6 – 8. “Birds of a Feather” is free to the public, who may stop in and test drive the INNOVA Quilting System and shop the vendors.

Among the attendees will be three longarm quilters from the Tidewater area: Carol Darby, owner of Keep on Quilting, a division of T-Shirt Express and More U.S., and Les and Elaine Page, who are volunteers with Quilts of Valor, a non-profit organization which provides quilts to veterans and service members who are touched by war.

Carol Darby, owner of “Keep on Quilting”, a division of T-Shirt Express and More , offers Longarm quilting services to the Hampton Roads quilting community as well as custom t-shirts and embroidery. Located at 62 West Mercury Blvd, Hampton, her shop specializes in printing photographs on fabric for quilters to use in their quilts. She will be displaying her fabric photos at her booth at “Birds of a Feather.”

Les and Elaine Page are members of the Tidewater Quilters Guild, where for two years Elaine served as the coordinator for Quilts of Valor. Les, a Viet Nam Vet, and Elaine have both served as the Quilts of Valor Foundation’s Virginia coordinator. They promote their cause through a Facebook page and a blog, “We Quilt Together.” Elaine is the quilter and Les is the longarmer. Elaine sews the quilt top together in their dining room and Les does the quilting, putting quilt top, batting and backing together with a longarm machine in the living room of their Virginia Beach home. They have formed a group, Not Forgotten QOV, which meets at the Ocean View Senior Center ten times a year to make quilts for military personnel. From their booth at “Birds of a Feather,” Les and Elaine will be inviting attendees to join the Quilts of Valor effort.

About “Birds of a Feather”

“Birds of a Feather,” the Longarm quilters’ convocation, is sponsored by Virginia Longarm Network. Valerie Schlake operates Virginia Longarm Network in Oilville, Virginia, and travels the six-state Mid-Atlantic region, stretching from Pennsylvania to North Carolina, to promote quilt-making using the computerized INNOVA™ Longarm Quilting Systems.

In 2011, Schlake started the “Birds of a Feather” expo to support Longarm professionals and other quilters. Attendees travel from as far away as Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. Schlake is offering more than 80 classes related to Longarm quilting taught by award-winning instructors sharing their talents. These classes will include instructions from How to Use a Longarm Machine to Using Different Techniques (i.e. feathers in your quilt) to How to Run a Profitable Longarm Quilting Business. According to a Quilting in America 2014 survey, there are more than 16 million active quilters in the United States, representing a $3.76 billion a year industry.

If interested in signing up for classes, there is a $100 fee. Register online at http://virginialongarm.com/the-network/events/birds-of-a-feather/event-registration-2/ or at the event.

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