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Atlanta Quilt Festival dedicated to preserving culture through artistic genius

August 15, 2021   |  

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The idea of “quilts” often evokes warm memories of grandmama and snuggling on cold winter nights. Well, the Atlanta Quilt Festival (AQF) will invite you to see contemporary quilting in a whole new way.


AQF is dedicated to promoting and preserving African American quilting and textile arts. After a COVID-19 hiatus, the annual AQF is back and ongoing at the Southwest Arts Center in South Fulton within metro Atlanta. This is the 13th year that AQF showcases the finest examples of African American quilts, dolls, and other fiber art in styles that range from traditional to innovative. AQF is inclusive and welcomes all levels of quiltmakers, from beginners to acclaimed artists. This is a great solo, dating, or family activity that highlights the spectrum of African American creativity and resilience.

There are almost 100 quilts created by more than 50 quilters from across the U.S. displayed throughout the buildings of the Southwest Arts Center. You can see all the quilts from now until Aug. 27.


This year’s exhibit also features a special exhibit of “Church Lady Quilts” submitted by members of the African American Sampler Quilt Facebook Group. The quilts were juried in the categories of traditional, art, modern, and African American heritage. As part of the excitement of the Opening Reception on Aug. 1, ribbons were awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, as well as honorable mention in each category.

AQF is more than just a quilt show. To encourage and develop quilters from beginners to hobbyists to professionals, AQF offers an array of instruction. There are classes in Beginning Quiltmaking, Dollmaking, and Master Classes, taught by Sarah Bond of Philadelphia, who traces her heritage to quiltmakers who were enslaved in the southern U.S. Master Quilter Bond, will also allow attendees to peek into her extensive collection and artistry through a Trunk Show.

Check out AQF’s website for class and event times and availability at https://www.atlantaquiltfestival.com/.

Tickets are required for some activities. AQF continues until Aug. 27 at the Southwest Arts Center, located at 915 New Hope Road, Atlanta, GA 30331. You don’t want to miss it! Masks are required at the Southwest Arts Center.

The Atlanta Quilt Festival was founded by Atlanta Quilters O.V. Brantley, Aleathia Chisolm, and Marva Swanson. Ms. Brantley’s prolific quilts can be found at www.ovbrantleyquiltstudio.com

Flip the page to see the full list of winners along with a gallery of the winning quilts.

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