Quilt show brings warmth to Valley

Valley-Wide Regional Park hosts the 37th annual Valley Quilters quilting show

Photo by Corey Evan/The Valley Chronicle
“Happy Flowers“ by Cleta Colston of Hemet.

■ By Corey Evan / Reporter

It’s been an unusually rainy winter, which means more and more of us have an excuse to bundle up for warmth this year. It was also a perfect excuse to visit the 37th Annual Valley Quilters Quilting Show at Valley-Wide Regional Park on Friday and Saturday.
Around 100 hand-sewn and hundreds of machine-stitched quilts were on display, showcasing the fine textile talent of our valley and that of surrounding communities. In addition, more than a dozen vendors were on hand to supply the next generation of quilters with what they need to keep a great tradition alive.
For the old and old-school among us, Sew Cranky offered a selection of 19th century hand-cranked sewing machines from all over the world. But for those who don’t have the time for hand-stitching, (Let’s face it…we’re busier than ever!) a selection of 21st century automated machines were also on display, some of which can preview your design before it becomes a stitch in time. Be aware, those new and high tech machines will run you a pretty penny, but what a job they do!
One vendor, Cuzi’s Custom Crafts, offered plenty of hand-sewn kitchen accessories for sale at prices you would be surprised to see! They also have sports-inspired wares, just in time for baseball season, again on the cheap.
Representing the Quilters’ Guild was President Barbara Bradford, who says attendees did seem to hold off for the first day of this year’s show because of the weather: “We were kind of worried because of the rain… But attendance looks very good.”
Helping Bradford out this time was co-chair Linda Card, who points out that there’s really no limit to what entrants can submit for the shows.

Photo by Corey Evan/The Valley Chronicle
Valley Quilters Guild President Barbara Bradford also got in on the fun with her ‘Chaos Contained.

“I think that’s what makes our show unique; the variety of designs, colors, of our quilts,” said Card. “So you’re not just looking at the same thing time and time again.”
The guild’s members don’t just sew for those who have. They also sew for the have-nots in our community, Card says. “That’s what we do is make them, and the material is purchased by the guild and we make quilts that are donated to a variety of philanthropic activities, like police departments, veterans organizations and hospice.
One booth also chipped in through the sale of selected items and through volunteers’ efforts to benefit our active duty and retired military, known as the Quilts of Valor Foundation. And they need a few good quilters to further their cause!
In addition, the guild also makes dog beds to donate to local animal shelters! Quilting for our furry friends never felt so warm and fuzzy.
This year’s entries yielded top awards for these entrants, among many others:
Roberta Plains of Hemet, for “Magic Flowers.”
Cleta Colston of Hemet for “Happy Flowers,” who won Best in Show
Cathy Parker of Hemet for “Cathy’s Fence.”
…and even Bradford got in the mix with her “Chaos Contained” quilt. She won third place.
And for those who wanted to take home a piece of the show, an opportunity quilt was raffled off. This year the quilt was called “Celebration of American Life”, and is a ‘Baltimore’ quilt with different hand-appliquéd squares piecing together the story of… American life. The winner was Nancy Smith.

Photo by Corey Evan/The Valley Chronicle
Quilting has evolved with the times, as evidenced by this modern sewing machine.

And as if prepping for next year’s show wasn’t enough, the guild is already getting an opportunity quilt ready for 2019: “We try to stay ahead of the process. That way, when we get to 2019, the quilt is done,” Bradford says.
If the wait to shop the 38th or even the 39th Annual Quilting Shows is too much for you, don’t fret. Here’s a few of the vendors who still have items for sale right now: Cuzi’s Custom Crafts: (951) 623-3272; Mimi’s Quilting: www.mimisquilting.com or (760) 365-1744; Sew Cranky: (818) 606-0065 or (818) 352-1834; Quilts of Valor: www.qovf.org.
To enter your quilt in the next show, visit www.valleyquilters.org for complete details. And for local high school seniors looking to embrace the arts, designing or English in college, the guild sponsors scholarships, which include a free quilt! Again, www.valleyquilters.org is the place to apply!

Photo by Corey Evan/The Valley Chronicle
Hundreds descended on the Valley-Wide gym in San Jacinto Friday and Saturday for the 37th Annual Quilting Show.

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