A kaleidoscope of color and design was on display at the Dolores Mountain Quilt Show on Friday and Saturday.
The show at the Dolores Community Center featured 168 entries, and 905 people attended the event, said event organizer Judith Swain, of Dolores Mountain Quilters. Last year, 770 attended.
“Ours is one of best quilt shows in the region, and it keeps growing. This year, we had a lot of entries in the art category,” said Swain.
Categories for quilts are diverse, and sizes range from lap-size to wall-size. They are all creative and colorful, and each one has a personal touch.
“Quilters create with love, and we give them away as gifts, rather than through a sale,” Swain said.
Entry fees and a quilt raffle raised $8,312 this year, and the money is distributed to local charities and organizations. Last year, they raised $6,000.
Sometimes, a quilt is created by different people. One person arranges and stitches the different pieces of fabric into the elaborate designs, and another stitches in the more subtle, but just as detailed, quilt designs in between the fabric pieces.
“Quilting is a very creative process, and it takes a good deal of focus and precision,” Swain said. “It is relaxing. When working on a quilt, all your cares float away.”
Creating a quilt typically takes months, but may take years for the larger more elaborate styles.
“Quilters love the legacy we leave when we finish a project. It is a work of art that will last forever,” Swain said.
Attendees clearly enjoyed viewing the hundreds of quilts, and ballots were handed out so they could vote on their favorites.
“I love the creative designs,” said quilter Jenifer Ibscher. “You learn a lot, meet new people and get new ideas at these shows.”
Quilting is a combination of independent work, partnering on projects, sharing ideas and socializing, said one quilter explaining an art piece.
“See here, to generate the unexpected, this quilt was handed off to several quilters to add on to, and the result is amazing – one-of-a-kind,” she said.
Judy Bryan has been quilting for 35 years and has gone from working in a small space in her home to building her own studio.
“The more complicated the project, the better,” she said of her artwork. “I like the challenge and a lot of movement in the designs.”
One of Bryan’s quilt entry won Best of Show this year.
The Dolores Mountain Quilters have monthly meetings, classes and demonstrations on quilting, and beginners are welcome.
For more information, visit their website at doloresmountainquilters.org