Local quilters show their talents and passion for sewing, and quilting, June 2-3 at the Val Matteotti Gym at Lethbridge College as the Lethbridge Centennial Quilters Guild present the fourth biennial Festival of Quilts.
“There are 203 quilts in this year’s festival,” observed quilt show publicist Teresa Petriw, adding the participants were allowed to submit up to four quilts each for the show, which runs 10 a.m.- 8 p.m., Friday, June 2 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, June 3.
She noted all of the quilts were created in the two years since the last show — the Quilting Canada show in 2015. Contributions come from all over Alberta and B.C. as well as quite a few from the 60-some Centennial Quilters Guild members.
A lot of the members gave away quilts to friends and family which they borrowed back for this show.
“We had a quilting bee to give 1,000 quilts to the Ronald McDonald House. It’s a busy, active group,” said Quilt Show chairperson Trudy Walker.
The Lethbridge Centennial Quilters Guild formed in the spring of 1984 when a group of Lethbridge quilters joined together to make a quilt commemorating Lethbridge’s centennial.
The enthusiasm generated by this project led to the formation of the Lethbridge Centennial Quilters Guild in 1985. Since then the guild meets monthly to share individual expertise and promoting quilting. The guild presently has 136 members.
The quilts in this year’s show aren’t your grandma’s quilts, though some of them include family heirlooms.
“I’ve got four quilts in the show. One of them includes lace doilies my grandmother made,” Walker said.
“One of them is a challenging group line quilt for which each member added a row to it,” she continued.
“It’s really a great an opportunity for people to see these works and for anybody who enjoys fibre art,” said Pettriw, noting the quilts weren’t juried, so anybody who wanted to participate was welcome to contribute a quilt or four.
“These are all modern quilts,” Walker added.
Some of the highlights of the event are two quilts which will be raffled off.
There will also be a “Bed Turning,” where the quilters will tell the stories behind their quilts.
“There are 18 quilts in the bed turning. As each quilt is revealed, the quilters will tell their stories.
“Bed turnings are very popular in the United States,” said Walker.
“We do a lot of cross-border promotion with groups in Shelby, Montana,” she added.
For the first time, there will also be a “featured” quilter, Quilting Guild president and Magrath resident Judy Barnett, who has a showcase of her quilts on display taking the viewers through her quilting journey. She will be speaking about her journey and quilting techniques.
“She’s a pretty phenomenal quilter. And she’s a very outgoing person who loves to talk about quilting techniques,” Walker enthused.
In addition to quilts on display, there will be a merchant mall featuring 20 vendors offering books, fabric, embellishments, art supplies and much more.
The quilting show is a communal event and an communal activity.
“I’ve been quilting for 28 years. I moved to town and I didn’t know anybody and I joined the guild because I wanted to meet some new people and I haven’t stopped quilting since,” Petriw said, who has four quilts in the show including her favourite, a French braided quilt.
“I made it for a friend. Two of the others were for friends, too,” she said, adding she enjoys working with different colours and kinds of fabrics.
Walker spent a lot of time learning from her grandmother.
“I’ve been quilting for 25 years, but I always loved to sew,” Walker said, adding she is most proud of her quilt including her grandmother’s lace doilies.
“I really like wool applique which features attaching other items to the quilt,” she continued.
Viewers can vote on their favourite quilts.
“I hope people will come and be inspired by the fabrics and colours and the variety of the quilts,” Petriw said.
Admission is $8 for adults and free for those under 18.
For more information, visit the Lethbridge Centennial Quilters Guild website at http://www.lethbridgequilters.ca.