Quilt show to showcase talents of area women

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CYNTHIA MARTENS
As the cool fall weather blankets the area, it’s time to snuggle up by the fireplace or jump into bed-nestled under a big, cozy quilt.

If that sounds inviting, make plans to attend “Quilts of Many Colors” show and auction in Hillsboro. And discover quilts on display and for sale-designed by area seamstresses from the Country Stitchers Quilt Guild.

“I think it’s an opportunity for the community to see what we really do,” said Paula Perry, who is in charge of the event and past president of the guild.

“The actual quilting these ladies do is really something.”

The quilt show will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 18, at Parkview Mennonite Brethren Church. And the auction will begin at 5 p.m.

The cost for admission to the quilt show is $2, but there will not be a charge to participate at the auction.

The guild was first formed in 1988 under president Marcene Gunter.

“A lot of our members went to the Hesston Quilt Guild, and then they just decided they would like to have one for this area,” Perry said.

“The quilt guild is not just for people who quilt. It’s for anybody who has a passion or love of quilts or quilting. We have some ladies who don’t quilt.”

A non-profit organization, the guild has yearly dues of $24 and usually has between 24 and 30 members from the Marion County area.

“But we welcome any quilter who wants to belong to our quilt guild,” Perry said about welcoming quilt lovers from beyond county boundaries.

The guild plans a quilt show every two years, but due to circumstances two years ago, it didn’t take place.

“So it’s been four years since we’ve had the last one,” Perry said.

Each year, the guild presents a challenge project to its members, and participation is optional. The group also encourages a block-of-the-month project.

“So we are going to have displays of our challenge quilts from the last four years, a display of our block-of-the-month quilts and then, of course, we’re going to have other quilts our guild has made or belong to family members,” Perry said of the attractions scheduled at the quilt show.

The showroom floor will feature a “Quilter’s Corner” with a myriad of items quilters can purchase for their craft.

“We’re going to have boxes of scraps of fabric where they can get a Zip-Lok bag for $1 or $2, and they can fill it up with whatever they want out of these boxes,” Perry said.

They will also have a display of quilts made for Project Linus, the guild service project for this year.

Approached by a representative from the Wichita chapter of Project Linus, members were inspired to make quilts this year for children who are seriously ill, traumatized or in need of the comfort of a blanket hug.

The Project Linus display will include an educational video about that volunteer program.

“Between the wall hangings and the larger quilts-not counting the Linus quilts-we’ll probably have close to 80 to 100 quilts on display,” Perry said.

Refreshments will be available for sale with temptations such as cinnamon rolls, cookies and lunch-menu items.

The guild is planning drawings throughout the show day, beginning at 9:30 a.m.

For the price of an admission ticket, patrons will have a chance to win such quilting treats as the product “Quilter’s Dream Batting,” gift certificates from the Button Hole in McPherson, and patterns and books donated by area quilting shops.

Ticket holders have to be present to receive their prize.

Separate tickets will be sold for a drawing to win an “Opportunity Quilt,” made by a group of ladies in the guild. Tickets will be $1 each or six tickets for $5, and ticket holders do not have to be present to win.

Under the gavel of local auctioneer Lyle Leppke, who has volunteered his talents for the event, the auction program will begin after the quilt show.

Among the donated items in the auction will be quilts, wall hangings, table runners, tote bags and pillows.

The event is the main fund-raiser for the year. Auction proceeds will pay for guest speakers at the meetings, magazines and books for the guild library, cash prizes at the county fair and supplies for the yearly service projects.

In the past, the show and auction crowds have numbered between 100 and 200 people, Perry said. But this year, organizers have planned it to coincide with the Tabor College homecoming as an added activity for Hillsboro visitors.

“So we’re expecting a larger crowd because of that,” Perry said.

And those who attend will have the opportunity to enjoy the expertise of area seamstresses, Perry said.

“I think we have some very talented ladies. We have ladies who have won ribbons at the county and state fairs. And some of the ladies in our guild who do applique, it’s just gorgeous.”

And warm, too. A puffy handmade quilt will go a long way to keeps toes and fingers toasty through the winter months.

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