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Quilt Show a ‘can’t miss’ at CHMS

I want to persuade Doings readers to visit the fantastic quilt show being held at the Clarendon Hills Middle School gym, and in doing so, I cannot resist saying: “Blessed are the piecemakers.”

If you go to the exhibit, you will forgive me and you will bless these piecemakers. The work is incredible and represents hours of handiwork and creativity. A Patchwork of America is the title of the biennial Salt Creek Quilters Guild quilt show held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 1 and Sunday, March 2. The exhibit is truly an enormous work of art in and of itself, with each of its more than 300 pieces on display adding a unique and creative touch to the whole.

“We have everything from bed quilts to miniatures to bed jackets to wall hangings,” said Louise Graff, president of the Salt Creek Quilters Guild, a group of more than 150 quilters from all over the area.

Guild members range from novices learning to stitch and patch to nationally recognized, award-winning quilting “professionals.” Some of the quilts on display will have been made by commercial patterns but many will be original designs, unique and distinctive works.

“It’s like going to a museum and seeing varied works of art,” Graff said.

In previous years, the show was held on two floors and a couple of different rooms at the Community House. But in the CHMS gym, all of the display quilts will be in one ground-level room.

Look for the 25 Challenge Quilts in the show. These are 25 members’ submissions offered up in response to a quilting contest. This year the challenge was Your Favorite Place In America. Challenge quilters had to also incorporate certain colors from required paint chips. Members voted on the challenge quilts last month.

In addition to the quilts, the show will feature 22 vendors — the most ever — and will host demonstrations as well as services such as scissor sharpening. The event is also a fundraiser so various raffles will be offered. The most exciting is what Graff called the Opportunity Quilt, which is a handmade Baltimore album quilt made with intricate detail and craftsmanship revealing it to be the work of one of the guild’s more accomplished quilters. There will be other raffles including one for a sewing machine, as well as a silent auction. The vendors and demonstrations will all be held next door in the Clarendon Hills Park District’s Community Center, which is actually a part of the same building as CHMS.

“It’s a great, inexpensive way to see what your community is doing,” Graff said.

She has been a member of the guild since 1989 and enthuses about quilting as an art form. She said some of the members are particularly adept at picking out colors and others at creating patterns. Quilting does not require a college degree or formal training, and quilters find their pastime relaxing and even therapeutic.

I am a crafty person but not a particularly craftsy one, which truly heightens my appreciation of the Quilters Guild’s show. Admission for A Patchwork of American is $6 at the door. Visit www.saltcreekqg.org for more information.

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