Quilting on the Kenai

Posted: Thursday, June 12, 2003

Though quilting developed as largely a wintertime activity, it's popularity has grown to the point where it isn't relegated to the cold dark months of winter anymore. Now this area's premier quilting activity of the year is held in the thick of the summer.

The ninth annual Quilting on the Kenai event will be June 19, 20 and 21 in Soldotna and is expected to be bigger and better than any previous year.

"We're just continually upgrading every year and adding new things," said Pat Reese of Robin Place Fabrics in Soldotna, who organizes the event.

The event's centerpiece, the viewer's choice quilt show, will again be held at Cook Inlet Academy on Kalifornsky Beach Road from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 19 and 20 and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 21. Admission is $5. The quilt show includes an expanded list of displays, vendor booths, demonstrations, door prizes, workshops and gifts, antiques, needlework and quilts for sale.

The quilt show itself is a juried exhibition made up of projects submitted by quilters. This year's show has more quilts on display than any previous show, Reese said, and should be fresh for the viewers.


A quilt made by Judy Niemeyer.

Photo by Jenny Neyman

"All the quilts that have been hung have never been seen before in the show," she said.

The 2002 Hoffman Challenge traveling art to wear show and doll show also will be on display.

"The national shows have wonderful, beautiful exhibits," Reese said.

The Hoffman Challenge art to wear show has become a regular feature of Quilting on the Kenai, but this is only the second time the doll show has been featured.

"Everybody really enjoyed it, there were some wonderful creations," Reese said.

Another regular part of Quilting on the Kenai is the demonstrations and lectures that will be held in conjunction with the event.

Quilting on the Kenai usually boasts one nationally-recognized quilting artist as a guest instructor. This year there will be two Rachel Clark and Judy Niemeyer.

Clark, of California, is a contemporary folk artist who has created wearable art for more than 30 years. She has been teaching nationally for 12 years. She will each a 2 1/2 day wearable arts class about sewing techniques and how to create a garment June 21 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., June 22 from 1 to 7:30 p.m. and June 23 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The cost is $225, and the class is limited to 20 participants.

Niemeyer designs and sells foundation paper pieced patterns. She will be available for consultations as the Robin Place Fabrics booth at the quilt show and will teach a two-day workshop on foundation paper piecing from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. June 24 and 25, for a cost of $150. The class is limited to 20 people.

Another workshop will be offered on making a patriotic grace runner, designed by Letitia Hutchings of Mount Redoubt Designs from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. June 19 and again from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. June 21. The class will be taught be Brenda Clyde and costs $35.

Registration forms for these workshops can be obtained at Robin Place Fabrics.

A new feature of Quilting on the Kenai this year is a quilt walk. Eight Soldotna businesses have agreed to display a quilt in their stores June 19, 20 and 21. Participants can pick up a passport card at Robin Place Fabrics and take it with them as they visit the stores to view the quilts. If they get their passport stamped at every store and return it to Robin Place Fabrics or the quilt show, it will be entered in a drawing for prizes donated by the businesses displaying the quilts.

The Quilting on the Kenai Art to Wear Fashion Show will be the highlight and finale of the event. It will be held at 7:30 p.m. June 21 at the Soldotna Bible Chapel, on the corner of Marydale and Kobuk. The new venue and the special attention that will go into the show's lighting and sound set-ups promises to make it the best show yet, Reese said.

The fashion show includes a trunk show by Rachel Clark, as well as garments from local and state artists. Admission for the fashion show is $7. A grand door prize drawing for a 2002 Pfaff sewing machine and the drawings for the quilt walk prizes also will be drawn at the show.

Quilting on the Kenai has grown in participation and popularity since it began and draws people from all over the state to see the national displays and the work being produced in the state and on the peninsula.

"We have wonderful talent here and that's what we hope to venue is the talent on the peninsula," Reese said.

For more information on Quilting on the Kenai, call Robin Place Fabrics at 262-5438.

Tricks of the trade

For any quilter who has looked at an interesting element of a piece and wondered "how did they do that," the demonstrations held during the Quilting on the Kenai event are a good place to find out.

There will be demonstrations and lectures given throughout the day at the Viewers Choice Quilt Show at Cook Inlet Academy, June 19 and 20 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and June 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The following is a list of the demonstrations that will take plane on the show floor during the quilt show.

June 19

11 a.m. Lily Huebsch, making fabric fold coaster pin cushions.

1 p.m. Brenda Cook, the flying geese-braided boarder technique in making a sew and fold on the roll piece.

2 p.m. Marie Lee, machine applique.

3 p.m. Ann Lillian Schell, silk ribbon embroidery

June 20

11 a.m. Barb Steckel, petal play.

1 p.m. Sharon Vanderzander, braided rugs.

2 p.m. Jan Wallace, "Fanciful Fandango" fabric folding.

June 21

11 a.m. Beth Schoer, the Applique Society.

1 p.m. Suze Brown, hand quilting.

Guest instructor Judy Niem-eyer will give demonstrations on her patterns throughout the quilt show at the Robin Place Fabrics booth.

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