Part 18: Getting Ready for the Edmonton Festival of Quilts.

What is the festival about? And “Build a Quilt”

Some time ago, when I somehow ended up as the communication person for the quilt show, I started to write a list of what this show would have and what I had to do.  A short list might have been simply said to “let people know we are having a show with all sorts of quilts they should see” … “and there will be lots of vendors that will sell lots of fabulous quilting stuff”.

As I was working on a Canada 150 quilt and reading about the history of quilting, I started to feel I had missed asking, myself at least, an important question …. Why do we have this show? Traditionally we do this every other year but I had to have a better answer.  I thought perhaps part of the answer was in the definition of a “guild”. The following is part of what I found…..

A guild is an association of artisans or merchants who control the practice of their craft in a particular town. The earliest types of guild were formed as confraternities of tradesmen. They were organized in a manner something between a professional associationtrade union, a cartel, and a secret society. … medieval cities, craftsmen tended to form associations based on their trades, confraternities of textile workers, masons, carpenters, carvers, glass workers, each of whom controlled secrets of traditionally imparted technology, the “arts” or “mysteries” of their crafts.  

full description ( wiki/ guild )

“Trade Union”,” cartel”, “secret society”, “controlled secrets”. Was there have been a secret hand shake for quilters!  Yikes, this was not exactly what I expected!  Apart from “quilt police” the quilt guild is group of artisans and crafts people that take pride in finding opportunity to improve the skills of members through formal courses, generously share their skills with both guild and non-guild members, spend countless hours making charity quilts to comfort others, raise funds for charities, and of course find the opportunity to find kinship in a group of people who love to “talk quilt”.

When I think about the festival, it truly is about who we are.  I get excited especially for the non-quilter. What a wonderful opportunity to not just see amazing work but to learn … touch, do and see through demonstrations.  Through the members market there is even more made inspiration, you can actually take home. You never know what might just encourage a virgin quilter to find a home among our wonderful group of quilters.

As I wasmaple-leaf-block finishing my Canada 150 maple leaf quilt top,  I started think about how this simple 9 patch, with very Canadian motif, could be used to encourage a 1st quilt.  I thought what better way for newbies to gain confidence, and not frustration, than to have our members help them “build a quilt” with ready made blocks. I remember my 1st quilt. It is a wonder I made a second!  If you have some scraps of red and white fabric that can make 3 coloured and 1 white  3 1/2” blocks, 1 -3 ½”stem block and 4 white and coloured ½ square triangles, you can help someone “build a quilt”.

Please read my next blog…. There will be a lot of cutting, sewing and pressing at my house tomorrow!


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