Longtime quilting tradition continues with 10-day show in North Fulton

You might call Sandy Teepen a bit of a pack rat. The Wisconsin native has always collected things. And she loves to sew and make wall art from the textiles and other items she picks up.

Teepen—who has worked in the costume departments of three major theatre companies—has a habit of turning her collectibles into colorful collages.

The Midtown resident will join other members of the Bulloch Hall Quilt Guild in hosting their annual quilt show at Roswell's Bulloch Hall through March 19. The organizers are expecting several thousand people from across the country to attend the 10-day conference.

The show features more than 170 quilts, including a couple of youth quilts, pieces done by children and teenagers, said Bobette Robinson, co-chair of the event.

Even the venue is unique among quilt shows. Most quilting events of this size take place in auditoriums or civic centers. Bulloch Hall is the childhood home of Mittie Bulloch, the mother of President Theodore Roosevelt.

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Teepen has a been a member of Bulloch Hall’s quilt guild for four years. Admittedly, she’s the first to encourage a friend or relative to create something. She hopes people will come to the quilt show and be inspired to try their hand at quilting.

“It’s good brain-hand stimuli, and things made by the human hand—an ancient occupation—thrill me,” she said. “So thread, yarn, clay, wood, paper; just do it. Respond to the human instinct to create.

Teepen sells her pieces on her website—sandieslabel.com—and through the Swan Coach House Gallery, Mason Fine Art and ArtistsAtelier, where her work has been exhibited. "I enjoy the impromptu of color and design that is revealed to me as I develop as an artist."

Learning to quilt is not as difficult as people may think, says Robinson. You can cut up old garments, or buy materials at thrift or fabric stores. Many stores offer beginning sewing lessons, and sewing machines are not as expensive as they used to be.

“The Bulloch Hall show is wonderful,” said Teepen. “It’s a great historic venue and there are so many examples of talented men and women who pursue art, design, color and fabric. It makes me proud to be a part of the tradition and the event.”

If you go…

The 35th Great American Cover Up Quilt Show

The Bulloch Hall Quilt Guild's annual show runs through Sunday March 19 at historic Bulloch Hall, 180 Bulloch Ave., Roswell. Showtimes: Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 1-4 p.m. $8 for adults; $7 for seniors and $6 for children ages 6-18. This year's featured artist is Athens artist and quilter is Elizabeth Barton. elizabethbarton.com

Some quilts at the show are for sale. The prices are set by the individual quilters, who must apply to be a part of the show each year.

Show information: bhqg.org

RELATED VIDEO: Black history told through colorful quilts

Basic steps in quilting

  • Figure out your pattern or design
  • Decide what fabrics you're going to use. Some people do the 3-D embellishments.
  • If you are doing a block pattern: use a rotary cutter to cut your blocks.
  • After sewing your blocks together, you have a top.