130 quilts judged for Guild’s 10th biennial show

SALEM — The artistry and amazing skill associated with quilt making will be on display in vibrant colors and unique designs during United Quilt Guild’s 10th Biennial Quilt Show this weekend at First Friends Church.

“A lot of them are art,” show co-chair Rita Kilpatrick said of the many different entries.

The show includes more than 130 registered quilts which went through intense scrutiny by certified judges Jeri Fickes and Fran Kordek on Wednesday in the gym at the church located at 1028 Jennings Ave. in Salem.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, the public gets the opportunity to see the quilts, along with demos and lectures and vendor displays. A quilt will be raffled off, along with several raffle baskets, and refreshments will be available for purchase. Admission is $6 each or $10 for a three-day pass. There’s a group discount, with tickets $4 each for a group of 10 or more.

Last year more than 1,000 people came through the doors, “some to shop and some to see the quilts,” show co-chair Debbie Mangas said, adding she’s a looker first, then a shopper, if she has time.

United Quilt Guild members Barbie Zwick, left, and Kathy Strelko assist by holding up a quilt with gloved hands at the judging Wednesday for this year’s Quilt Show, which kicks off Friday. The chosen charity benefitting from 20 percent of the show profits is Walnut Grove Field of Opportunity, a playground in Canfield where people of all abilities can play in an enclosed outdoor environment.

This year the United Quilt Guild members are hoping for a similar crowd or bigger and if the amount of entries is any indication, they could be looking at a lot of quilt enthusiasts over the three days. Profits from the event help cover the cost of service projects for quilts made for veterans, oncology patients and babies, monthly programs for meetings, quilting instruction workshops and charities.

This year’s chosen recipient for 20 percent of the show profits is Walnut Grove Field of Opportunity, an enclosed outdoor playground on state Route 46 in Canfield created to accommodate people of all ability levels, including children with special needs. The playground also received the donation from the last show in 2017, receiving a little over $2,000. Past recipients have included Second Harvest Food Bank, the American Heart Association, The Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Care Center, Family Recovery Center and others.

Vendors from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan and West Virginia will offer their wares for quilting and sewing, including fabrics, supplies, notions and cutting boards, even heat packs.

Homemade refreshments will include hot turkey sandwiches, sloppy joes from grass-fed beef, chili dogs, hot dogs, salads, chips and homemade desserts, including pies.

The lecture and demo schedule includes: Flange Binding by Marla Simmons at 2 p.m. Friday; Sewing Curves by Lynn Stiles at 3 p.m. Friday; Wool Applique from Village Quilts by Betty Aberson at 10 a.m. Saturday; Trunk Show by Lisa DeBee Schiller at 2 p.m. Saturday; Perfect Binding by Barb Casiolli at 1 p.m. Sunday; and Fun Ways to Use Panels from Gallery of Fabric, Mercer, Pa. by Sandy Lord at 2 p.m. Sunday.

The main attraction, though, is the quilts and this year’s theme is “When Life Gives You Scraps, Make A Quilt.” The fun began Wednesday with the judging, when the expert judges give their opinions and select first, second, third place and honorable mention in each category along with a special award in each category which earn a special ribbon and recognition. There’s also an award for viewer’s choice.

Mangas and Kilpatrick said the judges look at many elements of a quilt, including the quality of the stitching, the color, the quilting pattern, the layout, the fabrics used, whether lines are straight, the qualityof the binding, neatness and cleanliness. Some categories have specific elements for the judges to study, such as the appropriateness of embellishments or whether a quilt fits the theme, in this case, scrap quilts.

“Scrap quilts have a lot of different fabrics in them,” Mangas said.

Categories besides the one for the scraps theme include baby quilts/wallhangings, bed quilts, combined effort, group quilt, whole cloth, senior, hand quilted, modern, wearables, special and art.

During the judging, the room is extremely quiet except for the voices of the judges, whose words are copied down by scribes, with the written comments provided to the entrant after the show. Mangas said members can learn a lot from what the judges say.

United Quilt Guild, which was formed in 1990, held the first quilt show in 2001 and since then the show has become one of the best in the state. The group promotes education, fellowship and service and has members from Columbiana, Mahoning, Stark and Jefferson counties in Ohio and Hancock County in West Virginia. Meetings include classes, speakers and even a Challenge Night.

Meetings are held the first Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. at the Salem First Presbyterian Church on Second Street and anyone interested in quilting is encouraged to attend. The cost is $20 a year.

To learn more, visit www.unitedquiltguild.org.