Hundreds of quilting enthusiasts turned out at Lynch-Bustin Elementary School in Athens this weekend for the Endless Mountains Quilt Guild's bi-annual quilt show, themed "Now and Then."

Over 500 people came Saturday to view the many displays, demonstrations and vendors at this year's show, which was postponed from last September due to the flood, said event chair Jude Sieker. Sunday's turnout was also steady, Sieker said.

The school's gymnasium hosted a display of over 350 quilts of varied styles, time periods and skill levels, many made or collected by the members of the quilt guild, Sieker said.

The show also included national displays, including a portrait quilt display and the Hoffman Challenge, a competition requiring entrants to develop a design using a specific fabric.

Quilts from the guild's youth division were also displayed, as were designs from a "paint chip challenge," in which members were given a random paint chip and asked to create a design inspired by the colors from that chip.

This year's show featured several special displays. Richard and Betty Neff of Canton presented a series of Civil War-era original and reproduction quilts and quilting-related artifacts.

Sherry Simonds of Athens displayed a soldier's quilt she made and gave a lecture titled "Dear Kate: Letters from a Civil War Soldier." After an aunt died 20 years ago, Simonds said she received a collection of letters written by her great-grandfather, John Curran, to a woman named Kate while he was away at Carver General Hospital in Washington, D.C. during the war.

Curran returned in 1865 and married Kate, a domestic living in Chemung, N.Y., in 1867, Simonds said.

Cathy Wiggs, assisted by other guild members, presented two "bed turnings" on both days of the show. Large crowds attended Sunday's presentations, in which staff members held up a series of antique quilts and their modern counterparts while Wiggs explained the background of each quilt.

Sieker said the show's visitors enjoyed seeing the variety of quilts on display and shopping and learning from the show's vendors. "We've had many, many compliments on how this show is set up," she said.

The Endless Mountains Quilt Guild will hold their next show in 2014, Sieker said.

Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: