Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Twenty-23 years of July 4th Quilt Shows

(Published July 2012 in the Panorama)

For those who quilt and attend quilt shows, it’s obvious that that Blanding has hosted a standout quilt show for more than five years, (contrary to what last year's, and this year’s 4th of July program advertises).

Starting in 1989, Blue Mountain Shadows sponsored an expansive Folk Fair Festival with all kinds of folk arts, programs, and food booths.  This was held at San Juan High school for seven years.  The quilt show was held in the cafeteria and each year it was totally filled with beautiful quilts.   Other folk craft booths lined both sides of the hallway, with presentations done in classrooms.

 Some of the die-hard quilters who helped with these early shows, included Eve Lynn Perkins, Kathleen Lyman, Bonnie Meyer, Norma Madden, Ada Rigby, Edith Young, Gayle Marian, Ingrid Meyer, Ruth Nielson, and Kathy Hurst as well as their husbands, and sons and grandsons. Many, many others helped orchestrate the shows, as it takes a lot of manpower to hang 100 quilts or more in just a day! 
 The biggest show the local guild ever masterminded was in 1996 for the State Centennial Celebration.  They joined forces with Monticello quilters and pulled in 200 beautiful quilts of all makes and styles.  In addition, quilters were photographed and a short story and photo were framed for display at the folk festival, and were later hung at the Senior Citizen Centers.  Eventually these frames were given back to the quilters.  Though many of these quilters are no longer with us, their influence is still remembered. 

Both Monticello and Blanding made beautiful Centennial Quilts for the 1996 state celebration and those two quilts are featured as cover photos in the 1997 issue of Blue Mountain Shadows which celebrated 100 years of quilts and the people who made them.  This magazine was compiled and edited by Kathy Hurst.  Quilts along with short biographies of 147 San Juan County quilters are included in that heirloom issue, which will be on sale at this year’s 27th annual quilt show.

It’s possible that quilt shows began even before this, back when Blanding hosted Frontier Days, but someone else will need to find records on those!  Anyway, quilt shows have been going a lot longer than five years!
     This 2001 raffle quilt was made when I served as vice president with Vickie Kykendall.  I think we even had a float in the parade that particular year -- we were so ambitious.  We made over $1500 on the quilt.

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