Saturday, July 16, 2011

Firehouse Quilts Annual Quilt Show

I hope you are wearing your comfortable shoes because today I am taking you to one of my favorite places.  The 6th Annual  Firehouse Quilt Show has been a summer destination for me since 2008 and it never disappoints. For a local show on the smallish side, they've got great talent and an interesting boutique for shopping. The $7 admission (good for 2 days with a hand stamp) is a small contribution to this worthy cause.  "Snuggle Quilts" measuring 45-inches square are made throughout the year at their twice-monthly meetings.  The quilts are given to fire stations, Ambulance Services, low-income hospitals, victim advocate offices, and human service organizations. Through these organizations the quilts are given to children to help calm and comfort them in times of crisis.   They also donate larger quilts to a county Women's Crisis Center so women escaping abusive relationships will have a beautiful quilt of her own to take to her new safe home.  

I would venture to say most states have similar organizations that accept quilts (in good condition) for the  needy.  Some, like this one,  will accept donations of large cuts of 100% cotton fabric for their members to make the quilts.  Even if you don't sew, you can help out by donating your unused fabric and/or by attending their annual fundraisers, like this one.  

Okay!  Have you got those walking shoes on?  Let's go inside! (BTW, by the time you read this blog post, the show will be over, so this pictorial post will have to suffice!)


This young lady and the next  one below in blue, are always standing around with their baskets.  Attendees are given a ballot with their program so we can vote on our favorites.  Although they provide a service at the show, they never have a thing to say!

This lady always shows up with quilted wearable art.  She usually has a couple of friends with her, but this time she was alone.  I LOVE quilted vests, so I always stop to visit with her.

This quirky-looking gal was a large applique, a self-portrait, I think the label said.  She is holding a wad of fabric in her hand.

This year I took a lot of close-up snapshots to help me remember the fine details of some of the quilts.  Quirky gal's glasses frames are made of a black twisted trim.  Clever!

This one below is admittedly irreverent, but I hope you will forgive me for including it.  You will recognize the famous statue of Old Testament King David, only this time a clever seamstress gave him the covering that his first wife, Michal, thought he should have when he danced in the presence of the Lord and all of Jerusalem (see the story in II Samuel 6 of your Bible).  A little quilting humor here.

On to more quilts.... this yellow Irish Chain was dazzling.  I have made several Irish Chains myself because they are an excellent way to use up  small fabric scraps.

This one, too, is a great way to use up leftovers.  I love the "dependability" of the design.  Nothing weird going on here.... just faithful predictability with the fun of many colors and textures.

This quilt describes my home state very well.  I wish I had made this one up myself!

Forgive me.  I was so busy taking pictures that I did not make note of the names of most of the quilts.  If any of my readers know the name of this pattern, feel free to share it with us in the comment section that follows this post.  The yellow is so cheery.  It reminds me of my daughter who loves yellow and clearly-defined lines.

Someday, if or when I can fully justify in my mind (and on my calendar) the time that is necessary for hand-applique' of flowers, then that's what you'll find me doing.  I love hand-applique' work.

Even if I had the time, I doubt I would ever have the truly remarkable skill required to hand-quilt this perfectly.  Isn't this flower, leaf, and stem with their tiny, regular stitches a talented piece of work?!

This colorful quilt with a black backing is another Irish Chain but appliqued flowers have been added to fill in the big black areas.  Very nice.

A close-up of those same flowers.

Can you see the holiday greeting in this magnificent appliqued quilt?  By the way, take heart if you are a beginning quilter.  The information cards accompanying these quilts often gave the year when the quilt was begun, and believe-you-me, most of them took at least two years to complete, and most took longer than that.

This is a quilt made with many blocks of miniature Dresden Plates.  Most quilters are detail-oriented people, as you can plainly see.

Taking a break from the more colorful and intricate patterns, here below is a simple blue-and-white quilt made with a big variety of blue fabrics.  Very restful and clean.

This last quilt reminded me of two things: (1) how much I enjoy sage green; and (2) how much I enjoy hand embroidery.

Someone in the family is going to be having non-life-threatening surgery in a couple of months.  I would do well to pack my bag with not only a good book but also with a highly-portable hand-sewing project -- quiet things to keep my hands busy while the patient snoozes in the hospital bed for a couple of days.

I pondered that thought as I finished up at the quilt show.  In I heading for the door, I spied a hand-embroidery design that is perfect for my needs and bought it.  

This concludes the Firehouse Quilts Annual Quilt Show.  I hope you enjoyed it -- and hey!  Your feet didn't even get tired!  I'm heading home for a snack.  Come back to visit me soon, okay?

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