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Quilted treasures a feast for the eyes

Works of art in a kaleidoscope of colors and patterns were on display last week in Fallbrook Quilt Guild’s Quilted Treasures 2009 show at Fallbrook Presbyterian Church.

Even for those of us who don’t sew, the work of many talented guild members was a treat to see, admire and touch. (White gloves were available at the entrance for anyone wanting to handle the quilts for a closer look.)

The 266 treasures on display included quilted clothing, purses and even a kite, besides blankets and wall hangings varying in size from 12.5”x10” to 110”x110”.

There were holiday-themed quilts, quilts with flowers and butterflies, quilts with cats and quilts with cross-stitched designs on them. One of my favorites was “Kool Kaleidoscope,” and I liked all the ones with any kind of leaves on them.

From a pilot-inspired blanket to one made of sweatshirts collected from all over the country, from an all-denim blanket to one with tiger eyes on it, there was a quilt for anyone’s taste.

The 130 members of the guild live all over San Diego and Riverside counties and quite a few of them were involved in putting together the show beyond just exhibiting their work.

In talking to quilt show chair Sandy Scott, I learned that the biennial show, held this year on November 6 and 7, was the result of months of planning by a well coordinated group.

The group’s first show was held in 1991, which makes this year’s show their tenth, and the experience shows. The program listed 26 committees headed up by 34 women.

According to Scott, the actual setup started at 7 a.m. Thursday with 30 to 40 volunteers putting together the pipes and drapes – a three-hour job – and then hanging up all the quilted items, which kept them busy until almost 8 that night.

The following day, and Saturday, visitors had their hands stamped after they paid the entry fee so that they could visit other parts of the event and return to the quilt show for another look.

Quilted Treasures 2009 also included sewing demonstrations, a quilt raffle, a food booth and a country store selling quilted items, patterns and gift baskets.

There was a quilt auction for charity and vendors who were selling everything from thread and pincushions to ironing boards and special sewing machines used just for quilting.

I found out that not all artists quilt their own work. After sewing the smaller pieces together, many of the women then pay someone else to actually sew the layers together (front, batting and back).

So, the tags on the exhibits in the show not only listed the maker/owner but also the quilter. Each tag also contained a photo of the maker and a summary of the story behind the quilt.

When asked why the guild puts on the show, Scott said, “It’s a way to promote the guild and to promote the art that we do – to show people that there is a huge variety of styles in the world of quilting and fiber art.”

The possibilities in quilt design include piecing, appliqué, hand-quilting, machine-quilting, embellishments, rug-hooking, embroidery and wearables.

These wonderful examples of quilted art are not judged, other than the People’s Choice Award voted for by those who attend, but shared for the love of the craft itself.

The show, which was expected to attract between 800 and 1,000 visitors, is a great way to learn a little about quilting and experience a lot of inspiration, no matter what kind of creative hobby you may have.

So, I look forward to seeing what the ladies in the guild create for Quilted Treasures 2011.


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