We've had an active summer in Homer. While gardens, fishing, travel and houseguests made demands on our time, quilting remained a priority and we had several very lively Thursdays at the Kachemak Community Center. Just last week there were 24 of us sewing, pressing cutting, designing, knitting, eating lunch and chatting at the same time. Since a number of the Thursday quilters also attend the Monday evening group, I am going to guess the Monday quilters have stayed active and productive all summer as well.
Several group activities occupied us this summer. We made a few row-by-row comfort quilts using the fabric inventory we keep at the Kachemak Community Center and fabrics from our own stashes. Jane Regan started the first one by making a row and bringing it in on a Thursday. Someone else took it home and added a row, and each week or two it would come back with another row added until it was done. In the meantime, at least two more got started, including one made with fabrics that had been dyed and donated by Alice Krivitsky.
These row-by-row charity quilts spawned another activity too. Nine of us are participating in a row-by-row challenge that may easily take us two years to complete. In the end though, we will each have a quilt top made by ourselves and eight of our friends in a theme chosen by us. We started on August 1, and agreed to complete a row that is 48" X 8" (or more) in our own theme by the end of September and pass that row along to the person whose name is next on the list of nine participants. In addition to our starting row, we will include 2 yards of a neutral background fabric that will travel with the quilt as it grows (as each participant adds one row to everyone else's quilt). This neutral fabric may be used in blocks, for background, or for sashing at the whim of the next quilter as she adds a row in her interpretation of the owner's theme.
Our quilt themes range from "Purple and Turquoise" to "Life on the Farm" to "Traditional Christmas" to "Brights but No Batiks." It will be fun to see how these quilts turn out. I for one am looking forward to having a lap quilt with rows made by eight of my quilter friends.
Items to sell at the "cash & carry" tables during our 2017 Homer Quilt Show have been under construction this summer as well, including hair scrunches and beautiful 3D gift bags adorned with ribbons, fabrics and trims. Carol Renfrew and Charlene Ditton led this activity, as they manage the silent auction and cash & carry tables at the quilt show.
We collected and sent 16 comfort quilts to Edmonton, Alberta for distribution to a few of the hundreds of families that were displaced by the Fort McMurray wildfires in Canada. Donna Hinkle coordinated shipping the quilt tops and finished quilts to Canada.
Summer is also when the blocks for the next year's Pratt Museum fundraising quilt are designed and sewn, and this year is no exception. This fall the overall quilt design and construction will be done, followed by the quilting and binding this winter. The theme for the next quilt stays secret until the quilt is unveiled in the spring, but I can assure you the 2017 quilt will be another beauty.
The 2016 quilt is on display behind the admissions desk at the Pratt Museum, and as a weekly volunteer there, I can attest that it gets dozens of compliments each day. Next time you are in Homer, please stop in to see the quilt and buy a few raffle tickets. The funds from raffle ticket sales are used for items the museum and staff need that are not included in the annual budget, like new laptops and special software.
If you purchase $10 worth of raffle tickets (12 tickets), you will receive a bonus ticket for a hand-dyed, hand-quilted wall-hanging by Eileen Wythe, which is also on display by the admissions desk at the museum.
In the comings and goings department, not only have we had bigger than average summer Thursday quilting attendance, but we have several new members join our group. We want to give a big thank you to Nancy Larsen, who goes out of her way to make our visitors and newcomers feel welcome and to continually update our phone and email list with changes and new member contact information.
In addition to new members, we have had special guests, including Shirley Svoboda's daughter Piama, who came home for the summer from her job creating e-learning programs, doing graphic design, and teaching English as a second language in the Czech Republic again this year.
Margaret Lau returned to the Sisters, Oregon Outdoor Quilt Show and classes for the third year in a row. Also attending this year were Kate McNulty, Barb Patrick and Loraine Murphy (another multi-year participant). As much as we miss Margaret when she leaves for Sisters or one of her husband's antique car shows, we have to admit we love it when she returns with another box of delectable fudge to share from her favorite chocolate shop!
Are you a Facebook user? If so, check out our Kachemak Bay Quilters group on Facebook. (To find us, go to the search bar at the top of your news feed and key in Kachemak Bay Quilters. When the group page opens, request to join and one of us will approve your membership shortly.) Once you're a member, you will get notices when we add new content. There are a couple of dozen photos from our 2016 quilt show there, as well as a number of photos that I took of quilts I saw at the Maine Quilts Show in July.