From multicoloured batik quilts, artistic flowers and animals to traditional wedding ring or jewel box-style quilts there was something to suit every quilter’s fancy during the 19th annual Quilt Show held at Westerner Park on Friday and Saturday.
The event, hosted by the Central Alberta Quilters’ Guild, showcased designs ranging from something straight out of the Little House on the Prairie to more abstract modern-looking colours and patterns.
Red Deer resident Karen Ott was one of the featured quilters at the event and has quilted regularly for the last decade.
When she moved to Red Deer from B.C. 12 years ago she met another quilter, joined the local quilters’ guild and started working at Sew You Like 2 Quilt. She is now retired.
“I love fabric and I love colours,” Ott said.
“It’s my indoor gardening. I like to lay all of the colours of material out and I am like a kid with a new pack of crayons.”
She often spends many years working on her full-size quilts, which she will give to mark special occasions, such as weddings and graduations.
Her inspiration can come from just about anywhere. While travelling in Italy she was inspired by the cathedral floor and as she travelled around Europe she found herself seeing possible quilt patterns in the ironwork around different buildings.
She is attracted to florals and traditional quilt patterns, although she chooses the material for the quilt to suit the person she is making it for, with one of hers featuring cats for her son.
She encourages those who are beginning quilters to start with something small, like placemats.
“Remember it’s a journey and you’re learning,” she said.
Red Deer quilter Myrna Wagner was the other featured quilter at the event. She enjoys doing artistic quilts, with jewel tones and pastels.
One of her popular pieces at the show was a wall hanging of a horse in blue tones, which used more than 110 pieces in the horse’s face.
Wagner has sewn since she was a child, but didn’t get into quilting until she retired from working as an administrative assistant with the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.
She was inspired to try quilting after seeing a beautiful design in an Olds shop window and first put together a Halloween quilt for her grandson.
Wagner encouraged others to try the hobby, but not be so self-critical.
“Very few of us are perfect, but the overall effect is quite stunning,” she said.
The show also offered the opportunity for visitors to see the quilts of Shirley Busby, who passed away in November 2008.
Central Alberta Quilters’ Guild members helped finish the quilts, ranging from butterflies to the traditional wedding ring design, so that her family could enjoy them.
There were approximately 175 entries into the Central Alberta Quilters’ Guild 19th Annual Quilt Show.
Awards were given to Roger Kerr, of Camrose, for first place large, Diane Chadwick, of Red Deer, for second place large/medium, and Shirley Mills, of Red Deer, for best handquilted. Linda Olson, of Red Deer, was recognized for best use of colour, Marie Hanson, of Red Deer, won for best wall hanging/bag/table runner and Patti Laiss, of Rocky Mountain House, won the best unique design and viewer’s choice.