Loren Weimer has the first quilt she made on her bed -- a mostly red comforter in the "yellow brick road" pattern pieced together with assorted squares and rectangles.
It was seven years ago when she began her quilting habit.
"I saw a quilt that somebody else had made," she said. "I really liked it and tried to have somebody else make it and they wouldn't."
And now she can't stop quilting. Weimer has crafted all sorts of original quilts, like the one she made for her husband of his favorite Kenai River fishing spots, and the circus-themed one for her sister who works as a clown.
"I can never wait to get my hands on the next piece of fabric," she said.
Lucky for Weimer she won't have to wait too long.
This weekend is the 16th annual Quilting on the Kenai event with workshops, a quilt walk, vendors, treadle races and the "Art to Wear Fashion Show."
"It's an event that can be enjoyed by everybody, even if they aren't quilters," said Pat Reese, Quilting on the Kenai organizer and owner of Robin Place Fabrics in Soldotna.
Reese said that the event attracts people from all across the state and "it has a following."
A particular favorite is the quilt walk to different shops in the area that have quilts on display. People who visit each shop and collect stamps in a passport book will be eligible for prizes drawn at the fashion show.
"There's just wonderful talent around here," she said. "It makes it easy for me to do the show for all the wonderful creativity that is here."
Weimer's quilt that will be on display this year depicts a tree with birds sitting on its bare branches.
"It looks sort of like the beginning of winter," she said.
"And you think 'Oh gosh a tree with birds on it?' and then you see it and go, 'Oh wow,'" said Reese of Weimer's quilt. "She comes up with these awesome quilts."
This year's special guest artist is Trish Stuart of Texas, formerly of Alaska.
She will be teaching several classes and discussing her quilt pieces.
"When else will I have an opportunity to study with these nationally known teachers?" Weimer said.
While the quilt festival will give Weimer more opportunity to hone her skills and share with artists, quilting for her is more about the community.
"The thing that always strikes me is the quilters here are a great group of people who are committed to the community and not just the quilting community," she said. "I've been really inspired by them."
Quilting on the Kenai begins today at 11 a.m. at Cook Inlet Academy.
Brielle Schaeffer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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