Virginia Quilt Shop Rally a Success
The Virginia Quilt Shop Rally, which was established in 2001, hosted its most successful Rally to date this year. The four-day event, themed "The Dogwood Days of Summer," included six quilt shops across the region, and for the first time, The Martinsville-Henry County Visitor Center and The Artisan Center, a program of Patrick Henry Community College. A total of 822 quilt enthusiasts from 11 different states came to the Visitor Center and Artisan Center to view a quilt show which featured the talent of more than 20 quilters from across the Commonwealth and one quilter from Texas.
Voting for the show was done by people's choice in two categories. The winners were "My Heart in in the Garden" by Brenda Feeny of Ridgeway for local talent and "The Gambler" by Don Bunce of Hardy for past rally participant. Each winner received a basket of locally made products.
Rally participants visited each shop to collect stamps on a quilting license and quilters that visited all seven stops during the four-day rally were entered into a drawing. Dot Boger of The Sewing Studio estimated that approximately 700 quilters came to their location and that a total 290 of the participants completed the entire rally by visiting all seven locations in Martinsville, Boones Mill, Roanoke, Lynchburg, Radford and Wytheville. The winner of the grand prize, a $100 gift certificate from each quilt shop was Wanda Groseclose from Wytheville, VA. Many other prizes were given away including sewing machines, fabric and quilting supplies, local winners included Robert Jacobson and Susie Pool, both of Martinsville.
Due to the large amount of driving involved to participate in this event, some out of area visitors chose to spend the night in Martinsville-Henry County and enjoy area dining and shopping. "Many local businesses benefited from the rally," said Jennifer Doss, Director of Tourism for Martinsville-Henry County. "Throughout the event our staff at the Visitor Center spoke to participants to help them navigate to their next destination on the rally and suggested area businesses that might fit their present needs, whether that was a place to get coffee, eat a meal, shop or stay overnight. We know that The Quality-Dutch Inn, Super 8, Comfort Inn and Deluxe Inn all had overnight visitors as a result of the rally and several quilters traveling with their families chose to visit area attractions such as the Virginia Museum of Natural History and Studio 107."
Planning has already begun for the next rally which will be held July 11-14, 2013 and the theme will be "Virginia Vacations." Both the Martinsville-Henry County Visitor Center and The Artisan Center will be partners again in the 2013 event.
Additional information on the Virginia Quilt Shop Rally can be found online at www.VisitMartinsville.com or by calling 276.632.8006.
The mission of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation is to create new job opportunities and expand the tax base for the area. The organization strives to support and develop local industry, as well as market Martinsville-Henry County globally as an exceptional place to live, work and play.
The EDC is a public-private partnership between the City of Martinsville, Henry County, the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber's Partnership for Economic Growth (C-PEG) and the Harvest Foundation of the Piedmont.