It’s a prime time for patchwork

Annual quilt show is the largest in the Sierra Foothills
By: Paul Cambra, Features Editor
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“Primetime in the Foothills”
Annual quilt show
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 23; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 24
Where: Armory Building, Gold Country Fairgrounds, Auburn
Cost: $7
Info: Kathy Sanchez at (530) 277-1954,

Most people would not hang a bedspread on their walls for decoration, let alone frame it. But quilts; now that’s another story. A good quilt can be a work of art. In fact, while many quilts are still used in the traditional way — to cover a bed — many are made strictly for aesthetic purposes.
“When I am making a quilt that I want to enter in a show, I pick something that really has a ‘wow’ factor, because that’s how you get in,” said Candy Brown of the Foothill Quilters Guild.
Brown is the featured quilter at the guild’s 31st annual show later this month. The show’s name, “Primetime in the Foothills,” is because 31 is a prime number, and well, what’s quilting without math, right? You’ve got symmetry, geometry and patterning.
But this show is more about the beauty of the quilts, and the aforementioned “wow” factor. For Candy Brown that meant finding material and thread that looked like rust.
“I found out in October that I was going to be the featured quilter, so I did a couple of art pieces for the show,” she said. “One is a set of three 1944 flatbeds trucks. I love that era and the fact that they were rusty and yucky, I liked that. I picked out rusty fabric, rust colored thread. I love the trucks. They are in Georgetown. I was raised there, that’s my home.”
Brown said she basically copies a photo, in this case of flatbed trucks, in fabric and thread.
“A good quilt is really a part of the person who made it,” said guild member Gail Reinke of Auburn. “You can see Candy in Candy’s quilts. They have a bit of whimsy in them.”
As featured quilter, Brown will have 28 quilts on display. In all, there will be more than 300 quilts of all shapes and sizes. Professional judges review each quilt two days before the show. At the show, attendees will have the opportunity to vote on different categories for the “viewers choice” awards.
And speaking of opportunities, most guilds will make an “Opportunity Quilt.”
“We travel around with this quilt to meetings and fairs and festivals and we sell raffle tickets,” Reinke said. “The quilt provides us with an opportunity to raise funds for our various community service projects and everyone has an opportunity to win it.”
Another annual tradition is the “Challenge Quilt.” Guild members pay a fee and receive a challenge. This year’s theme is holidays and they don’t know which holiday they will be creating until they enter. It can be anything from Christmas to Cupcake Day (Feb. 25 this year, sorry if you missed out).
There will be everything from king-size to miniatures on display at the Gold Country Fairgrounds. So came have a closer look at the world of binding and batting; of warps, wefts and wadding, of thimbles and thangles. There are more than 21 million quilters nationwide who spend upward of $3.5 billion on the hobby. Now that’s a whole lot of wadding.