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Stunning display of stitchery

Rows and rows of stunning quilted creations by members of the Prince Edward County Guild.

Their love of quilting had plenty of material witnesses this weekend.
Visitors to the the Prince Edward County Quilters’ Guild’s 14th annual show and sale lined up outside the Wellington arena doors awaiting the opening of the bi-annual show. A half hour later, the parking lot was full and the exploration of more than 300 stunning examples of stitching was under way.
“The show has a good reputation,” notes Connie Sirot, co-chairman with Jane Spilchen. We get a lot of repeat visitors and this year we’ve been getting a lot of phone calls from Toronto and Kingston.”
The decision to move the show from Picton to Wellington’s new arena, the co-chairs said, was a good one.
“This is the first event to be held on the Wellington arena’s floor and we’re very happy. It’s so bright and so spacious and it was an easy event as far as working with the County’s Andrew Morton and his crew here,” said Sirot.
“We always seem to worry about not having enough quilts,” laughs Spilchen. “But everything always comes through just fine.”

There are more than 300 bed quilts, wall hangings and related items this year – and 53 were entered into competition.

Bethany Garner, who is active in local and national quilting organizations, judged this year’s competitors. Garner is a course developer and instructor in the textile design program at St. Lawrence College in Kingston.

Rosanna Worden Hawker was delighted to see a first-place ribbon on a quilt called “Memories For Dana” that she made for her niece. Though she’s been quilting for about 10 years, this was the first time she had entered the competition.
“I had made one for my nephew that won the Viewer’s Choice Award four years ago so I decided the enter the judged competition with this one,” she said.
The quilt’s blocks highlight various memories for her niece, including a fan and Dresden Plate patterns from her grandmother’s collection; an attic window with red trilliums representing family walks to the bush; her mother’s clematis, her father’s bean plants and piano notes and keyboard in honour of her achievements. The centre features designs for four seasons in Dana’s life, to remember lifeguarding during high school summers, returning to school in the fall, playing hockey and greeting a toad in the summer. Toad being her niece’s nickname.

While many quilts are created as keepsakes, full of love and memories, others are created for the love of the craft, the fun and fellowship.

Sandy Smith continues to quilt with about a dozen friends she met 30 years ago.
“I took a class and we never finished the project so I invited them over to my house and that group of friends in still going,” she said. “That was in Toronto and now we live in Bloomfield. None of us are quilt artists. We just do it because we like each other and over the years it was also a support group of sorts as we raised our children and helped each other. Now the girls come here for their week away.”

This is the 25th anniversary of the Prince Edward County Quilters’ Guild founded in 1986 by Joan O’Neill of Bloomfield, Margaret Kerr of Big Island, Beth Hicks of Picton and the late Nina Hicks, Mary Lou Norton and Ruth Geary. The Memorial Walkway was dedicated to Norton, the guild’s first president and chaired its first quilt show.

The show continues Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Rosanna Worden Hawker with Memories for Dana

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