Quilting Show Enjoys Large Turnout

By Lura Jackson

Mary Louise Peters demonstrates the creation of a shadow quilt using patch blocks. Peters was one of fifteen Guild members that demonstrated their skills during the two-day long Quilt Show at the First Congregational Church. (Photo by Lura Jackson).

This past weekend was the perfect occasion for a two-day long quilt show held at the First Congregational Church in Calais. The show (which had a theme this year of “Around the Block”) was organized by the St. Croix International Quilters’ Guild, and it featured over 200 quilts and a variety of quilted items such as bags, apparel, and wall-hangings. The masterfully crafted pieces seemingly glowed with a radiant array of colors that were perfectly complemented by the stained glass windows of the church’s interior. 

More than 500 visitors came to appreciate the aesthetics and significant skill that went into creating the quilts. In addition to the hanging exhibits, attendees were able to take part in live demonstrations, vendor displays, raffles, a silent auction, and homemade refreshments. A large quilt made from the “Gaelic Garden” design by Susan Dyer and Nancy Raschka-Reeves of Glad Creations was raffled off, with all of the proceeds donated to the Ronald McDonald House of Bangor. Coordinator Lynda Duplissea (whose skill at organizing events was instrumental in the success of the show) estimated that over 3,000 tickets had been sold for the quilt before the show had begun. Including this year’s raffle, close to $11,000 has been raised by the Guild since it held its first show in 2008 (shows are held every other year). 

“This is the first year we’ve had sponsors,” Duplissea says, adding that the Guild has received generous donations of materials, advertising, and funds from area businesses and crafting supply stores. One of the Guild’s many ongoing projects is the creation of “Anti-ouch Pouches”, designed to hang between the arm and chest of women who have undergone mastectomies. Fairfield donated 25 pounds of their Poly-fil product, which is used for cushioning in the pouches. The Guild also makes lap quilts which are donated to an organization selected by the committee for each show. This year the Down East Hospice Volunteers and Hospice of Charlotte Incorporated were the lucky recipients.

The Guild traces its beginnings to 1982 when a group of friends started getting together to share patterns. In 1998, it became an official chapter of the Pine Tree Quilters Guild of Maine, and it has been steadily growing since then. Now, over eighty members travel from around Washington and Charlotte counties to the meetings, which are held a few times each month. The Guild began holding quilt shows at the First Congregational Church to showcase its efforts a few years ago. “We are very grateful to the First Congregational Church and the Calais Christian Fellowship for the use of the space,” Duplissea adds.

For more information on the St. Croix International Quilters Guild (including a schedule of upcoming meetings and events), visit http://www.stcroixquilters.com/.