Quilt show ‘fabric’ates a fun weekend

By: Loryll Nicolaisen, Journal staff writer
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Don't expect to see any drab colors at the Gold Country Fairgrounds this weekend. This is ˜Mardi Gras in the Foothills,' and we are going to be bright and exciting, said Beth Foust, chairwoman for the Foothill Quilters Guild's 26th annual show, scheduled Saturday and Sunday in the Fairground's Armory, Rabbit and Poultry and Placer buildings. Foust said the show typically draws about 2,000 people. Ours is one of the first shows of the season, and people come from all over, she said. Lynn Huber, guild president, said more than 350 quilts will be on display in the Armory Building. We did really well this year, she said. Also set up in the Armory building are featured quilter Marylee Drake, along with wearable arts exhibits and the kids' corner, where young crafters can try their hand at quilting with games, prizes and activities. The show's guest of honor will also be on display in the Armory Building ” the opportunity quilt. This is a quilt that our members make, Huber said. Raffle tickets for the opportunity quilt will be sold during the fair ” $1 each or $5 for six ” and the winner announced at 3 p.m. Sunday. Adapted from Rachel Wetzler's Fandango, this year's opportunity quilt is 78 inches by 78 inches, hand-appliquéd, machine quilted and quite colorful. It's a modern design, and our area's pretty traditional, Foust said. Huber said the quilt is sure to be a hot item at this weekend's show. It's a good one, she said. Each of the blocks was made by a member. A lot of time and effort went into it. To me, the bright colors are just great. The design is wonderful. It's usually a very outstanding quilt and you can try your hand at winning it. We've had some great quilts in past years, and most people are very excited to win it. You do not need to be present to win the opportunity quilt, or raffle baskets for that matter, Huber said. Step outside the Armory Building and you still have two buildings to check out. Some 20 vendors will transform the Placer Building into a one-stop shop for quilting supplies, with the Cool Deli selling food to the hungry masses. More shopping can be found at the Rabbit and Poultry Building, home of the country store, a kind of quilters' swap meet. This is where guild members sell gently-used and unwanted items. It's a bargain basement, Huber said. It's everything that you can think of ” lots of fabric, lots of embellishments. Foust said the country store is worth a visit. Everybody cleans out their closet of their sewing stuff, she said. The quilts will have already been judged by officials, the winners awarded ribbons by the time the general public comes in Saturday morning. But that doesn't mean visitors don't have their say of what quilts strike their fancy. With the viewer's choice awards, attendees are welcome to choose their favorite quilts in various areas. The quilts, I love to see them up, Huber said. At the quilt show you really get to see what our members have accomplished during the year. The Foothill Quilters Guild has been around since 1982, and has seen the art form transform during that time. This weekend's show, Foust said, reflects that evolution. They're not just thought of as bed quilts anymore, Foust said. It's also branching out into other areas. It's expanding. It's old and new all together. The Journal's Loryll Nicolaisen can be reached at, or comment online at