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Bainbridge Island crafters host first annual quilt festival
The Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show held in small town Sisters, Ore. — population 2,038 — has brought in an estimated 12,500 visitors for the nearly 39 years it has been held.
It’s the largest quilt festival in the U.S. and the inspiration behind this weekend’s first annual Bainbridge Quilt Festival.
“I think people who are not into quilting will be surprised at the different types of quilts on display,” said Barbara Kirk, owner of Esther’s Fabrics. “It should be an interesting and colorful time for everyone.”
Esther’s Fabrics is one of five organizing groups for the festival. The others are the Bainbridge Modern Quilt Guild, Beach Garden Quilts, Pink Chalk Studio and White Lotus Quilting.
After the Bainbridge Modern Quilt Guild formed in the summer of 2012, island quilters began discussion of putting on their own outdoor quilt show.
Since they began putting out the word of the festival in January, Esther’s has accepted 150 quilts to be on display.
The quilt submissions range from youth entries and small-form pieces to floor cloths and full-size works.
It is a non-juried show, which means anyone who entered a quilt will be able to exhibit their work.
“It’s just fun for (quilters) to see their work on display,” Kirk said. “And it’s a good way to bring people in the downtown area and to the island.”
The quilts will hang from awnings and businesses along Winslow Way all day on Saturday, Sept. 14.
At the farmers market from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Beach Garden Quilts will hold a floorcloth demonstration. Floor clothes are essentially a quilt for the floor but require no sewing. Quilt designer Lynette Sandbloom will share techniques and tips as she shows how to construct a floor cloth.
Marybeth O’Halloran of White Lotus Quilting will host a drop-in workshop from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Bainbridge Museum of Art on easy improvisational piecing.
The event will be hands-on and blocks that are made during the workshop will be used to construct an American Hero Quilt top. The American Hero Quilt project provides handmade quilts to injured servicemen at Madigan Army Hospital in Tacoma.
A third activity will be hosted by JustCrafts.net from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the plaza between Chase and Columbia banks. Kid’s crafter Jeanette Schanilec will show how kids can make their own patchwork pillow.
Visitors to the quilt festival can also purchase raffle tickets at Esther’s Fabrics for $1 or six tickets for $5. At 4 p.m. a ticket will be drawn to win a locally crafted quilt called “Around Town.” The quilt was pieced by Margret Darrah from a pattern designed by Carolyn Friedlander and quilted by Marybeth O’Halloran; all islanders.
The proceeds from the raffle will go to Friends of the Farms.