Quilting is the stitching together of layers of fabric in an ornamental patchwork of color that takes time and patience and dedication. In fact, most quilters may say making a quilt is an act of love because of the commitment it requires to finish a piece.
Quilts are for warmth, for comfort, for marking an occasion, for décor, for admiration. For the Oakdale Quilters Guild, quilts are also for goodwill.
The guild is hosting its Seventh Biannual Quilt Show on Saturday, Oct. 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to raise money for their philanthropic endeavors. The event will be held at the Oakdale High School gymnasium, 739 West G St., Oakdale. Admission is $6 for adults and children under age 12 are free.
Event chairperson Debbie Carreira said there will be lots of quilts to look at, shopping, a door prize and drawings, live auction, demonstrations, and more. She said they have a wide variety of vendors who are attending this year and it is a great time to get started on those Christmas presents.
“Quilts are no longer about making a blanket to throw on your bed. It’s art,” Carreira said. “There are a lot of talented ladies in this guild.”
The fundraising Quilt Show provides the Oakdale Quilters Guild with the necessities to give a quilt to every new resident at Oak Valley Care Center (OVCC), approximately 100 quilts a year. Carreira noted they also make personalized pillowcases, clothing protectors, and wheelchair bags for the residents. The show helps them purchase material for the quilts and other items and to take quilting classes.
“It’s also to show off our pride in some of the work that we’ve done,” Carreira added.
She said that the show is where quilters can enter their creations and possibly win a prize. There will be many quilts entered from around the area and the Quilt Show attendees get to vote for their favorites.
The guild selected Charlotte Williams of Oakdale as this year’s “featured artist” at the Quilt Show. She will have at least six quilts on display at her special booth at the show and will talk about her quilts. Williams works in traditional quilt patterns and also incorporates machine embroidery into some of her quilting.
“Her work is just outstanding,” Carreira said of Williams. “She’s got some pieces that are just beautiful. Her work stands out.”
Williams began sewing at age nine and made clothes for her children when they were young, but she didn’t start quilting until she retired. She recalled that when she retired and people asked her what she was going to do with her free time, she told them “I am going to learn to quilt.”
She took her first quilting class about nine years ago but for all her talent, she still doesn’t feel as if she’s mastered quilting yet.
“There are always a lot of different techniques to learn and some are really difficult,” Williams said. “But it’s fun.”
She reported that she sews every day and it takes her about one month to do a small quilt, three months to do a standard size quilt, and about a year to do an embroidered and embellished quilt.
She added that quilters in general usually work on multiple quilting projects at a time so they don’t get tired of working on the same one all the time. She noted that she limits herself on the number of quilt projects she has going simultaneously but revealed that many quilters have anywhere from 10 to 100 unfinished projects they’re working on at any given time.
Williams makes quilts for family members for special occasions such as weddings and said that over the years, she’s also donated quilts for fundraisers for her grandchildren’s junior livestock association, band boosters, and just about anyone who needs a quilt for a fundraiser who has asked, as well as the philanthropy with the Oakdale Quilters Guild for the OVCC residents. Further, Williams added, she doesn’t do commissioned quilts for money because it would limit her creativity.
The Quilt Show’s boutique will not only have finished quilts and wall hangings for sale, but also supplies that have to do with sewing and quilting such as patterns and fabrics, as well as needlework, and there will also be craft vendors with finished goods for sale, too. A local women’s service club will also have lunch and refreshments for sale at the event.
At 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6 there will be an Honor Guard presentation. Following that, “Quilts of Honor” will present quilts to some veterans at the event. There will be a live quilt auction featuring quilts from the guild and individuals on Sunday, Oct. 7 at 1:30 p.m. There also will be an opportunity drawing for a hand-appliqued and machine-sewn quilt done by the guild, gift basket drawings, and door prize drawings once per hour with prizes donated from vendors. Carreira stated that attendees need not be present to win.
Demonstrations at the quilt show are as follows:
On Saturday, Oct. 6 at 12 p.m., Bearly Quilting of Sonora will be doing long arm quilting. At 1:30 p.m., D’s Quilting of Folsom will do Japanese embroidery with Asian fabrics. At 2:30 p.m., Treadleart of Oakdale will do a Razor Ripper demo. At 3 p.m., Generation To Heirlooms will show how to choose wood for quilt racks, ladders, and kids toys. At 4 p.m., longtime quilter Maya Torngren of Oakdale will have a trunk show.
On Sunday, Oct. 7 at 1:15 p.m., Second Chance Fabrics of Fresno will do a Komaishi flowers and rules demo.
The Oakdale Quilters Guild was founded in 1996 by two Oakdale residents, Eileen Venzlaff and Jeannie Custer, who met at a quilt class in Modesto and struck up a friendship. They decided to start a guild in Oakdale and 16 women came to the first guild meeting held at the Oakdale Library. Both ladies are still active members.
Meetings are held the second Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. in the Oak Valley Hospital conference room. The meetings include Show and Tell, as well as raffles, door prizes, and Secret Pal gift exchanges. On the second Saturday of the month are philanthropic sews or a teacher gives a class, and on the third Saturday of the month the members come together at the OVCC meeting room to sew, chat, and enjoy some food while they concentrate on their unfinished works. New members and guests are always welcome, one and all, and any level of skill. The guild is filled with many “fun and lively” women. For more information contact membership chairperson, Cora, at (209) 918-6220.