The impressive display of quilts at the recent Vero Beach Quilt Guild (formerly Sunbonnet Sue) Quilt Show at the Indian River Fairgrounds confirmed that quilters are engaged in a complex art form, which spans many continents and over thousands of generations.
The two-day exhibition, co-chaired by Cindy Baron and Diane Miller, was put together like a quilt, showcasing fiber art in a wide assortment of sizes, techniques and materials.
Along with more than 160 quilts, many of them museum quality, there were vendors selling everything from materials to long arm sewing machines. And, while many of those present were quilters, others came just to view the exhibits.
” It’s an art. You don’t have to be a quilter to come and admire the quilts,” said Baron.
Guild members had also crafted items to sell in their shop, and all funds raised were donated to the Vero Beach Lifeguard Association, the nonprofit chosen for this show. Members have provided items to many charities over the years, such as sewing placemats for Meals on Wheels and Our Father’s Table, wave quilts for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients, and quilts and teddy bears for the Indian River County Sheriff’s Victim Advocacy Unit.
Baron described the guild’s 120 members as “quilters supporting quilters. If anyone needs help assembling or learning wool quilting or other techniques, people will help.
Miller said that although she is a hand quilter, Baron prefers to work on longarm machines to create larger works.
Explaining the process, Baron said: “You have your quilt top and you have your support. Comforter warmth is what you put in between. It’s like making a sandwich. But you have to tie those quilts together somehow. So, in the old days, women used to sit down and sew by hand or you did it yourself on a quilt rack. Now you can long cock it on a big machine, or you can pay someone to do it.
Women who wished to have their fiber art judged by two professionals in the pieced, appliqué and mixed techniques of small, medium and large size, as well as in the categories miniature, quilted wool with wadding, wool alone, abstract/art and block of the month.
Additionally, Martha Mook exhibited 13 works she created as part of the Hoffman Challenge, using cotton made by Hoffman California Fabrics. Hoffman chooses a specific fabric to be used in quilts, which should have a maximum perimeter of 160 inches or less.
“I don’t remember how many I did; maybe 25 or 26. I designed and made them all myself,” Mook said.
“Everyone in the US and Europe gets the same stuff, every person, and you’d be surprised how different they are,” Baron said.
Since the show benefited rescuers, there was also a Turtle Challenge, with members creating 20-inch by 20-inch wall hangings that had to contain at least one turtle.
These whimsical and colorful quilts were judged by two lifeguard captains.
A quilt appraiser was on hand, which Miller says is essential for insurance purposes. For example, she explained that without an appraisal, an insurance company can only reimburse $20 for damage to what it considers a blanket, whereas a show quilt can actually be appraised in the thousands. of dollars.
The guild, founded in 1979, attracted a lot of attention in 2019 with the raffle of its centennial celebration quilt “A Day at the Beach”.
“After that, we changed our name from Sunbonnet Sue to Vero Beach Quilt Guild because we’re more recognizable that way,” Baron said.
Although COVID has forced the revamp of their odd-year biennial show, they hope to be back on track with their next show, tentatively scheduled for February 10-11, 2023.
Quilters of all skill levels meet Thursdays from approximately 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., currently at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church.
For more information, call 303-506-0456.
Pictures of Kaila Jones