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Olde Town Gallery exhibit highlights art of quilting

Flowers are a popular theme for the more modern style quilts exhibited at the gallery.

Flowers are a popular theme for the more modern style quilts exhibited at the gallery.

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Quilters, from left, Gwen Maggitt and Melisa Morrison hang one of Morrison's pieces in preparation for the quilt exhibit at the Olde Town Gallery in Conyers. Behind Morrison is one of Maggitt's quilts.

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A three-dimensional quilt is just one of many contemporary designs shown at the gallery exhibit.

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This quilt, featured in the exhibit at the gallery, is made in a folk art style.

The latest exhibit at the Olde Town Gallery features brightly colored works of art in various sizes adorning the walls, but the pieces aren't made from any traditional medium like paint, glass or even metal.

These creations are crafted from cloth and although they're described as "quilts," the unusual patterns, bold hues, unique materials and intriguing images hardly seem as ordinary as the word "quilts" might imply.

The show is dubbed appropriately, "It's not your Grandma's quilt anymore," and it features 35 quilts, ranging from antique to contemporary, amassed by exhibit curator and local quilt shop owner Melisa Morrison.

"Most people have a preconceived notion of grandma sitting at the quilting frame. I've tried to show that some of that happens but we have everything from beaded quilts, to miniature quilts, to oriental quilts," she said.

The quilt exhibit hangs at the Olde Town Gallery & Studio, 909 Commercial St. in Conyers, and can be viewed at no cost from 2 to 6 p.m. on Oct. 26 and 27 and Nov. 2 and 3.

Morrison said friends and customers produced the majority of the pieces over the last several years but there are some works which date back over 150 years, part of Morrison's collection. Most are made with machines but some feature handwork.

"Quilting has evolved but there's always that underlying traditional element," Morrison said.Morrison runs the Sweet Home Quilt Company out of a historic home at 1004 Green St. in Conyers. In addition to selling quilting supplies from her store and via the Internet (www.sweethomequiltco.com), she also hosts quilt classes and retreats.

Morrison started quilting in 1990 because a friend asked her to take a class.

"That first class I got hooked and never looked back," she said.

Morrison said quilting is meditative and it's a hobby that's become a steady part of her life.

"There's not a day that goes by that I don't quilt for 30 minutes," said Morrison. "It keeps me grounded."