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Foothill Quilters Guild prepares for annual show

Friends, crafters present show April 14 and 15
By: Krissi Khokhobashvili, Journal Features Editor
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A horde of quilters is preparing to take over the Gold Country Fairgrounds.

April 14 and 15 will see the annual Foothill Quilters Guild quilt show in Auburn, where nearly 300 quilts will be on display along with a multitude of vendors offering materials for every imaginable quilting need.

“We have judged quilts and just entered quilts, we have judges’ ribbons, viewers’ choice ribbons, member ribbons,” said Beth Foust, president of the guild’s board. “We have just about 290 quilts on display.”

The show is the biggest annual fundraiser for the guild, which started in 1982 when a small group of quilters saw the need to have a guild here. A notice in the newspaper drew 89 members, and the guild has been growing since. This year, the 30th anniversary of the guild, there are 235 active quilters hailing from Auburn, Roseville, Nevada City, Applegate, Cool, Georgetown and even one from Nevada.

The quilters hold a general meeting once a month, and meet throughout the month as “mini groups.” Members be-come fast friends, sharing quilting tips and techniques and spending a lot of time laughing.

“Everyone sews different things,” said member Perky Brouillette, of Auburn, “but we all blend together because of the fabric.”

Quilting techniques include sewing by hand, by machine and with a long-arm sewing machine, a formidable piece of equipment that is used to sew together a quilt top. Foust, a long-arm quilter, uses the machine to create intricate curlicues and thread accents on quilts, guiding the machine by hand, without a pattern.

Margarita Wilcox, of Christian Valley, tends toward traditional hand-sewing. She’s an expert on appliqué, the process of attaching pieces of fabric together to form patterns and decorations.

Like many guild members, Wilcox said she quilts “every day. I do something every day.”

In addition to quilting groups, the guild holds “discover days” where members teach new techniques and share quilting ideas, and a yearly quilting retreat to Tahoe. Brouillette said the five-day retreat this year will focus on sewing UFOs – unfinished objects.

“We get together and sometimes sew in our pajamas, and sometimes worry about bears coming,” she laughed.

The annual quilt show draws nearly 2,000 enthusiasts each year, Foust said, and the guild hopes to see more this year because of a very special guest. Alex Anderson, quilting author and television host, will be on hand Saturday to display several of her quilts and give a lecture. Anderson hosted “Simply Quilts” on HGTV for 11 years and is the author of 30 books.

Proceeds from the show are used for community service projects and to provide scholarships. The guild makes quilts for a variety of charities, including the Placer County Children’s Receiving Home, nursing homes, Teenage Pregnancy Program and the Red Cross.

At the show, the guild will host its “country store,” selling members’ unused quilting materials at reduced costs. And, of course, there will be a multitude of quilts for admiration and inspiration.

“There are quilts that are everywhere from art, wearable art, clothes, traditional, contemporary,” Brouillette said. “It’s almost like an art show.”

Reach Krissi Khokhobashvili at krissik@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter, @AuburnJournalAE.

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Quilt show

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 14, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 15

Where: Gold Country Fairgrounds, 1273 High St., Auburn

Cost: $7, free parking

Info: Kathy Sanchez, (530) 277-1957 or kathy@goosetrackfarm.com