The 27th annual United Church Women’s Quilt Show takes place this weekend at the Meaford United Church on Friday, April 20, and Saturday, April 21. Doors open both days at 10 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. on Friday and 4 p.m. on Saturday.
“This promises to be another spectacular year of approximately 50 new homemade quilts from the surrounding area of the Grey Bruce Peninsula,” said organizers of the event.
Organizers say that the quilt designs on display this year range from “simple and subdued to intricate and vibrant”.
Organizers of the annual show had been gathering to quilt together at the church for many years before the first show was held 27 years ago. One day, one of the ladies suggested that a quilt show be held at the church. That first show included roughly 20 quilts made by members of the church. The quilt show has grown each year over its quarter-century existence: the very first show attracted approximately 100 visitors, while last year more than 350 attended.
In an era when most people visit the nearest big-box store for their bedding supplies, quilting could have already become a lost art if not for quilting groups like the one at Meaford's United Church. Originally, quilting was an economical way to make warm bedding by reusing old materials and fabric remnants, while today many quilts are made from new material, and some never end up keeping anyone warm, but are used as wall art.
The feature for 2018 will be a selection of unique quilts made from unusual materials such as men’s shirts, t-shirts, and cushions from shirts. The Meaford Public Library will have a table displaying their quilting books and magazines, and they will also show the items the Georgian Quilters Guild has donated to the library over the years. Local crafter Karen Wilson will be there with her handmade greeting cards.
Attendees are given the opportunity to vote for their favourite handmade quilt, best machine quilt, and best small item on display at the show.
Admission is $5, lunch $7, and afternoon tea $2.
Some Fun Facts About Quilts:
According to dictionary.com, the word quilt dates back to around 1250. The term in Middle English was quilte, based on the old French word cuilte, derived from the Latin word culcita, for mattress.
The world’s largest quilt was the AIDS Memorial quilt, which weighed approximately 54 tons.
The first rotary cutter was invented in 1979 by Olfa for garment making, but soon quilters realized the advantages of using it.
The first spools for thread were invented in the 1820s and used birch wood.
A 2014 study showed that quilting in the United States is a $3.7 billion industry.
The same study showed that more than 21 million people quilt south of the border, predominantly women with an average age of 62.
In Canada there is one national quilt organization that was founded in 1981. The Canadian Quilters’ Association has 20,000 members and holds an annual conference each year that includes their National Juried Show.