Quilters blanket Winslow with colorful display

The Bainbridge Island Modern Quilt Guild hosted its 10th annual Fall Festival and displayed a large, colorful array of quilts Sept. 10 in Winslow.

More than 270 quilts of varying sizes and styles were hung from scaffolding featuring artists from all over Kitsap County. Some were created by a “Quilting Bee” group that followed a design made by one quilter, and others were created by a single artist.

Visitors viewed and walked among the quilts, which fluttered in the wind like blankets out to dry on a clothesline. Hundreds of them viewed the textile art entered for the free non-juried show.

Festival chairperson Kathy Dwyer said the festival is all about celebrating quilts that vary from traditional to more freeform. “There are people who make quilts for a specific purpose, like the larger ones which are bed quilts and some are wall hangings.”

Friends Martin Gibbons and Joan Wenske drove from Port Townsend to see the quilts. “Modern quilts and improv quilts are exciting,” Gibbons said.

Wenske was looking for a quilt made with a paper piecing technique. “I’m used to English paper piecing, so I’m really looking for other kinds of quilts that might have other kinds of piecing. I’m on lookout for how to recognize that requirement of a design.”

Gibbons was drawn to neutral colors. “Here, the different scales are really interesting. The background fabric is really fun and light colored with all kinds of variations of words and graphic things and the different scale of the elements.”

The guild created a section of quilts at the gazebo as a memorial to honor former member Maggie Ball who died earlier this year. Ball turned a hobby of quilting into a career as a quilter, designer, teacher and author of several books and patterns.

Dwyer said that Ball’s impact went far beyond the local quilting community. “She and her daughter went to Mongolia to teach quilting in 2004, and there’s now a school there with a quilting group, Quilting Without Borders.”

Learn more at bainbridgequiltfestival.com.

The guild created a memorial in honor of former member Maggie Ball who died earlier this year.