By Camie Roper
Set aside the weekend of July 30-31 for the first in-person Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild quilt show since 2018. Expect an art show with a mind-boggling explosion of colorful displays. Steady yourself for aisle after aisle of beauty, wonder, amazement, and surprise. Wear comfortable shoes and bring your camera and a friend.
Long-time guild member Lori Rhode is chairing the event and promises over 200 lovely quilts. Kaye Whittington again this year will be setting out the quilts in a most pleasing arrangement, and we cannot wait to get that first glimpse!
Michele Kennedy will be heading up Ambience to invoke a special atmosphere for the show. She says: “It’s a little like [reverse] Trick-or-Treat. I hold out my arms and sign in unknown…objects [from guild volunteers] to complement the quilts…The day before the show, quilters drop off their items when they bring in their quilts.
“Then we must wait until sections of quilts have been hung. We look at what we have and place vignettes between quilts to enhance the show’s atmosphere… We also have some ‘special’ quilt-related craft items that you will just have to wait to see.”
New additions to the venue include dress forms to display quilted garments, and there will be additional seating. Two special exhibits are included in the show.
Paradigm Quilters will exhibit art quilts from two recent challenges, Inspired and Treasure Hunt (See related post).
Creative Seasons has been meeting for 15 years. Long-time member Kathy Schmidt says, “As an art group, our purpose is to promote and inspire textile work that is contemporary, skillful, interesting and beautiful.”
Originally co-led by Carol Makielski, Mary Beth Donovan and Sherry Peterson, they meet monthly, challenge each other to encourage growth and development as artists, and hold an annual retreat.
This year’s exhibit includes work with shared batiks and limited other fabrics. Twelve batiks were used between two subgroups, and we are curious to see the results!
Rhode says she saw differences while planning this post-pandemic quilt show. Co-chair for the 2020 show (canceled and then pivoted into a virtual show), most of the current show was planned via email, teleconference, and phone—not in person. Many committee chairs were new.
She also noted a certain “mindfulness” in the current show’s quilt descriptions –many members mention COVID. Quilters were “forced to work from their fabric stashes, went back to a UFO they didn’t have time for normally, did a block-a-day challenge, took an online class, or in many cases used quilting to relieve worry and stress during lock-down.” Lori’s own Halloween quilt was made from her existing stash, and she was able to finish a breast cancer fundraiser quilt that had been languishing.
The nineteen vendors for this show promise a plethora of opportunity to find the latest in fabric, design, patterns, and the newest-of-the-new techniques and notions available. Energy, innovation, and excitement have built up over these past four years, and today’s quilter is truly fortunate, indeed. Little Pumpkin’s Kitchen will offer delicious wares to sustain all visitors.
This unusual, lovely, community art event promises a little of everything – amazing works of art, a chance to see the inner workings of a local quilt guild, in-person meeting with friends, and an opportunity for a wonderful outing on a beautiful summer weekend. The hours are Saturday, July 30, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Sunday, July 31, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is $8 for everyone 12 years of age and over. Admission covers both days of the show. The address is the Morris Lawrence Building at Washtenaw College, 4800 E Huron River Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48105
For a podcast and story about a quilt that was left unfinished from the 1918 pandemic, click on this site: www.kuow.org/stories/this-quilt-was-left-unfinished-during-the-1918-pandemic-this-pandemic-these-women-will-finish-it