Quilt Guild puts on a show

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The Whale Coast Quilt Guild in Springdale had everyone in Stitches last week when they hosted their first ever quilt show at St. Luke's Anglican Church.
The Guild, which President Ann Inder says is just a few years old, decided to take on the venture in January with a small group of volunteers coming forward to organize it.

"A few people stepped forward and offered to help with the organization," she said. "It was our first time ever doing it, and we knew we were going to make mistakes and do things right and wrong, but we were willing to do it anyways."

The Guild meets every month in Springdale for a time of learning and fellowship, says Inder. The atmosphere of the meetings is meant to be about learning and helping each other get better at the artform they share a bond in.

"It doesn't matter how good you are, or how long you've been quilting, we just want people to come out and enjoy themselves and have fun doing what we enjoy doing."

Inder says the idea behind the quilt show was to show the people of the community and the region some of the projects that have been completed by Guild members. There are a little over 20 members in the Whale Coast Guild - small compared to some groups across the province, says Inder. However, collectively they brought in well over 100 pieces for folks to admire.

"Everyone brought in their work, some of it was for sale and some of it was just for show," she said. The pieces ranged from quilts to wall hangings, and consisted of some elegant designs that have been passed down through generations.

Inder says the show had a section dedicated to vintage quilts, which included one whose pattern had been passed down for a century.

"100 years ago, there was no such thing as a quilt pattern or anything," she said. "People just created their quilts and if you wanted to make a quilt like that, then you went by the one they made." Inder says tradition indicated that you would pass a quilt down through generations so that they could also create the same quilt.

Throughout the three days of the show, well over 200 people came through the doors of St. Luke's to view the handiwork of the quilters.

"We had people from all over come through - even people as far away as Arkansas," she said. "Our goal was to really show the people of what's out there, and that quilting isn't a dying artform."

Throughout the days, visitors also had an opportunity to vote on their favourite quilt on display. Each patron was given a ballot to mark after viewing all the displays.

Nola Hewlett won the honour with her quilt "Autumn Skies." She received a ribbon from the Canadian Quilters Association.

As for future events similar to the quilt show, Inder says they're not sure how that will play out.

"I don't think it's going to be an annual event, just because of the sheer amount of work needed to pull it off," she said. "But I think some point down the road we'll want to do it again some day."

Organizations: The Guild

Geographic location: Springdale, Arkansas

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