Our purpose is to promote and encourage interest in the art of quilting to the benefit of its members and the general public and to provide a venue for its members to work together and provide opportunities for education in the art of quilting.
“QUILTING ON BEACH 2011” REVIEW
On June 4 and 5, members of the Pincushion Quilt Guild and Peachland Quilt Guild collaborated in “Quilting on Beach 2011”, a biennial quilt show close to Peachland’s historic Beach Avenue. With almost 190 quilts on display, our 750 visitors, some from England and Australia as well as from all over BC, were offered a large variety of quilts to view. From hand-quilted traditional to modern art, there was definitely something for everyone.
Visitors were asked to pick their favourite quilts and many found choosing almost impossible. After almost 500 votes, Brenda Bennett’s hand- appliquéd, hand-quilted king-size quilt, “Bed of Roses”, was awarded the Viewer’s Choice Rosette from the Canadian Quilters’ Association/Association canadienne de la courtepointe. Bennett said, “I’d always wanted to do a Baltimore Album style of quilt with a single flower theme. The quilt took 5 years to complete and has 25 different rose pattern squares, 12 from the Rose Sampler pattern and the others found through my own research.”
Interestingly, “Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies”, also by Bennett, was a close second choice for the viewers. Third and fourth place went to “Watercolor Rail” by Jeanne Nagel and “Summers End” by Gail Neale, respectively.
One of the most interesting displays, created by a quilter’s granddaughter, demonstrated the significance of quilting in the Underground Railroad during the US Civil War. Kaitlyn’s educational 4H display will spend the summer traveling around BC to various 4H clubs, finishing its tour at the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver in late August. Apparently, the block patterns as well as the stitching on quilts displayed along the route contained secret information, such as map routes and the distances between safe houses. Using the quilts, spirituals and code words, the slaves and sympathizers could effectively communicate indirectly with each other and aid fleeing slaves on the road to freedom. This year, a challenge to complete an Underground Railroad quilt was suggested by our Workshop Coordinators and several guild members participated, completing quilts that were displayed alongside the exhibit.
One wall was hung with the results of our Mystery Quilt challenge. Seven of the eight completed quilts (one was displayed on a bed elsewhere in the room) were hung in the same area and it was quite intriguing to see how merely changing the colour palette completely changed the look of the exact same block pattern. One of the benefits of doing a mystery quilt is trying something new, choosing colours that work together, without really know what the end result will be – scary for some and wonderfully liberating for others.
Another guild display was the Round Robin challenge, which is a quilt created by sewing concentric patchwork to a central block as it is passed around a circle of friends. In our case, six members participated and the results were truly interesting. The effect of working on quilts that others have started leads to working with new colours, designs and techniques. This experience generated excitement, bewilderment, frustration and deadline pressure, but mostly a sense of accomplishment. Each new border was a stepping-stone in our learning process.
Among the more unique offerings was “Confused?” by Rita Macdonnell, a free-form original piece that combined the freedom of curved piecing with the inflexibility of paper piecing. Nancy Moore’s large quilt “Masterpiece” drew attention. From a distance it looked like a Grandmother’s Flower Garden, but a closer look revealed tiny rectangles, not the traditional hexagons. Joan Gibson’s quilt for her new grandson used his name in a crossword puzzle pattern along with the names of all the important people in his life. Brenda Bennett’s “Kay’s Choice” featured very bright curved pieces in a contemporary wall hanging. And all the remarkable seasonal wall hangings and table decorations ensure that quilters’ homes will be well prepared for seasonal and holiday spirit.
Somehow, the guild members also find time to quilt for charity. In the past year, for example, over 60 quilts were donated to an orphanage in Haiti, and some examples were on exhibit at the show. We felt that we had a more personal connection with the crisis in Haiti, as the son of one of our members is a doctor with GAIN (Global Aid Network). He visits Haiti several times a year and personally delivers the quilts to the children there.
The Merchants’ Mall in the banquet room featured four local quilt stores, with lots of room for quilters to shop. This was the first time we’ve invited merchants to participate and it proved to be highly successful, both for the merchants and for the guests. It was easy to get totally inspired while viewing the quilts in the show and then head over to the sales booths to buy patterns, books, fabric and tools for that new project.
Interested visitors could purchase handmade items in the sales area as well as some from the show itself, and some happy quilters went home with $$ from a sale of one of their items—that is, if they made it past the Merchants’ Mall on the way out!
Tired viewers could rest and refresh themselves at ‘Barb’s Bistro’ in one corner of the show. Hosted by the hard-working members of the Peachland Quilt Guild, guests could enjoy sandwiches, veggie plates and yummy sweet treats as well as coffee and tea for nominal costs.
Joanne Fisette, BC’s Interior Rep for the CQA, was present talking about and selling memberships to the CQA. Joanne, who’s had lots of experience with quilt show, is an invaluable resource for us and we’re always appreciative for her practical suggestions.
All in all, the Peachland Community Centre, with great lighting and lots of space, provides an excellent venue for a show of this size.
Many of us approached the organization of this year’s quilt show with some apprehension: Could a group of 30 women (and let’s face it, none of us are spring chickens any more), actually be able to stage a successful show? From the large number of favourable comments, we can safely say, “Yes, we can!” Of course, many thanks go to our capable organizers, President Donna Kerbes and Show Designer Berkeley Stuart, and to the amazing men in our lives who worked so hard to both mount and take down the show. What took almost a full day to put up came down in 55 minutes! And of course the show itself was a great reminder of why so many of us started quilting the first place.
Peachland’s Beach Avenue is one of the best places for anyone to spend a sunny Saturday or Sunday afternoon! Picture this: You’re walking along BC’s longest unimpeded freshwater foreshore, with a Farmer’s Market at one end, a fantastic Quilt Show halfway along, and numerous coffee shops and lovely cafes along the way. What a great day! Now it’s back to the sewing room for us to make some new creations. See you in two years at our next show!