Quilt guild will show its true colors this weekend

Mary Jacob’s quilt, much of which is shown here, won the 2009 Best of Theme — “Quilts in Bloom” — award - Courtesy Photo
Mary Jacob’s quilt, much of which is shown here, won the 2009 Best of Theme — “Quilts in Bloom” — award
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

The Vashon High School gym will be decked out in finery this weekend, when the Vashon Quilt Guild hosts its ninth show there, called “Life in Stitches.” 

Nearly 200 quilts will be on display, creating a labyrinth of color for people to walk through, appreciate and judge. The show, which has taken place every other year since 1995 — when a smaller number of quilts adorned the walls of the Presbyterian Church — fulfills one of the missions of the quilt guild. 

“This is our way of promoting quilting in the community,” said guild president Su DeWalt.

Seventy-one Islanders belong to the guild, 70 women and one man, DeWalt said, and many will display their work, showing off the art form in a multitude of ways, ranging from  wall hangings and queen-sized quilts to tote bags and place mats.

Quilting often conjures up images from the days of yore when women saved their old clothes to turn into them bedding, but it has moved far beyond that, becoming an increasingly popular art form that feeds the creative fire for those who become passionate about it.

“I can’t think of anyone in our guild who just needs more bedspreads,” DeWalt said with a laugh.

The show will be divided in to eight categories, and judges from the La Conner Quilt Museum will attend on Friday, before the show opens, to award winners in each division. DeWalt noted that these days quilters do the actual quilting — the sewing that connects the top, batting and bottom of a quilt — mostly by machine, but 17 Island quilters are showing 38 quilts they have quilted by hand. One of those quilts will also receive an award. On Saturday, those who go to the show will be asked to vote on their favorite quilt: the People’s Choice.

Quilts for Seattle Children’s Hospital and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center will be on display as will quilts made for Vashon’s American Hero Quilts, which sends quilts to wounded service men and women at Madigan Medical Center and Afghanistan.

The show will also feature quilts for sale — 20 of the show quilts themselves, in addition to the show store, which will include fabrics, books and handcrafted items. Island Quilter will be at the show with its fabrics, and a thread vendor will be there, too. 

Quilting takes no extraordinary skills, DeWalt said, recalling a story of a grandmother who gave her grandchildren lined paper to use at an unthreaded sewing machine. When the children were able to follow the lines on paper, the grandmother deemed them ready to quilt, threaded the needle and gave them fabric to make quilts of their own. 

“That’s the cool thing about quilting,” she said. “Anybody can do it.” 


The quilt show will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 25, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 26, at the Vashon High School gym. The cost is $5; children 12 and under are free. 



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