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Batavia Quilt Show takes a trip down Route 66

BATAVIA – Those who go to Batavia's Quilt and Textile Show this weekend will be able to take a trip down the historic Route 66.

A Route 66 traveling quilt exhibit is among the more than 150 historical and contemporary quilts that will be on display through Sunday as part of this weekend’s eighth annual Quilt and Textile Show at the Eastside Community Center and Shannon Hall, 14 N. Van Buren St., Batavia. The show started Friday afternoon.

"Every year we are trying to bring something new to bring new people to the show," said Kari Felkamp, director of marketing & public relations for the Batavia Park District.

The show is presented by the Batavia Depot Museum/Batavia Park District and sponsored by Prairie Shop Quilts in Batavia. It is a fundraiser for the museum, and proceeds from concessions sold at the show will benefit Valley Sheltered Workshop in Batavia.

General admission to the show is $6, and $5 for seniors. Children age 10 and under are free. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

U.S. Route 66 was one of the original highways within the U.S. Highway System and spans from Illinois to California. The Route 66 traveling quilt exhibit is appropriately 66 feet long.

The show features a variety of quilts, including a quilt made by E. Louise Pruitt of Batavia. It is comprised of 4,000 hexagons pieced by hand.

"It's kind of like a puzzle," said Bonita Deering, owner of Prairie Shop Quilts in Batavia. "It took her about four months to make."

Deering enjoys giving gifts that are personal, which is one reason why she likes to quilt. She made one quilt for the show that she plans to give to her brother and his fiancee.

"I've made more than 100 quilts and usually give them away," she said. "I have very few at my house."

The show also will feature free quilting technique demonstrations. On Sunday, author Karen S. Musgrave will present the program "Quilts in the Attic: Uncovering the Hidden Stories of the Quilts We Love."

The program begins at 2 p.m. and there is a $5 charge.

Even those people who don't quilt will enjoy the show, Depot Museum Director Carla Hill said.

"We have so many people who aren't quilters who just enjoy the beauty of the show," Hill said.

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