The City Quilter store is celebrating Grand Central Terminal's 100th anniversary with a special contest, allowing the city's ever-growing quilting community to celebrate Manhattan's legendary transportation hub. NY1's Arts reporter Stephanie Simon filed the following report.
Dale Riehl and his wife Cathy Izzo opened The City Quilter in 1997. Since then, it has expanded twice and lets say it's really become part of the "fabric" of the city.
"We have a tremendous number of customers from the five boroughs. We've had probably 12,000 students over the last 16 years and we feel part of the community," says Riehl.
They are living up to their name. The City Quilter on West 25th Street in Chelsea now offers many city-inspired fabrics, after tourists and local quilters alike suggested the idea.
"People always wanted a New York kind of fabric. So for a while, we could get away with doing sort of generic building kind of fabrics, but they're really few and far between. So, Dale, it was really Dale's idea, he had the good idea to start printing our own fabric," Izzo says.
The fabrics feature more than the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building — they have more neighborhood sights like the Williamsburg Bridge, the Guggenheim Museum, Bryant Park, the Apollo Theater, Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall and many other recognizable places.
The City Quilter is now celebrating Grand Central Terminal's centennial with these specially licensed fabrics and a national contest for quilts using these fabrics.
"It's one of the most beautiful buildings on the planet and its centennial deserved to be celebrated on fabric," Riehl says. "This is historic fabric, really. This is the [station's blue zodiac-theme] ceiling and the ceiling, it resonates, I think, with everybody."
Those who are enticed by the Grand Central Terminal fabric but do not know how to quilt can come to the City Quilter and take lessons.
"They could make center pieces, pillow cases. They could make shirts out of it. And it's kind of collectible," says Riehl.
The contest submissions are due by August 21. The winning quilts will be shown at the New York City Transit Museum in Grand Central Terminal next March.
Quilting Contest For Grand Central
The City Quilter
133 West 25th Street, Chelsea
Details on the contest: www.cityquilter.com
Quilt entries are due by August 21. Those who enter must submit a picture of the front of the quilt.