From all reports, the Quilting on the Kenai Quilt Show just keeps getting bigger and greater each year, "We attribute the growth to having quality instructors, exposing people to garments through the fashion show, and validating local artists work through showing it in the show," said chairperson and show coordinator Zada Friedersdorff.
The annual Quilt Show was the inspiration of Pat Reese, of Robin Place Fabrics, nine years ago. The show has grown from about 40 local garments to over 100 garments that now include local as well as pieces from other communities including Anchorage and Fairbanks. There was a collection featured by Lorraine Torrence, an instructor from California, wearable artist Rachel Clark, and the ever-popular Hoffman Challenge traveling show of garments.
Lila Ann Krohn models her Pacific Northwest show 1st place prize winning wearable art quilt.
The annual fashion show was moved from Cook Inlet Academy to the Soldotna Bible Chapel this year, to accommodate a professional run-way for the models and professional lighting for atmosphere. Nearly 200 turned out for unique fashion show. Debbie Griffin did the music, and Gordon Griffin was the lighting and tech director. Master of ceremonies for the event was Tom Anderson. "The models were all local citizens and just regular people," said Friedersdorff, who also commented that there probably were as many men as there were women involved in the show but the men were working behind the scenes.
A highlight of this year's three day event was the first ever anywhere Peddle the Treadle Race, created and sponsored by Jess P. Tubbs Sr. of J&H Sewing & Vacuum, "As far as anyone knows, this is the first ever Treadle Race. When I was growing up my favorite toy was the treadle sewing machine," said Tubbs who is the self-proclaimed world champion treadle racer.
8-year-old Jessica Jackson owns the runway in her wearable art kimono.
Being the sponsor of the inaugural race, Tubbs didn't participate in the event, but maybe open to a match race down the line with any challenger. 22 Treadle peddlers participated in the historical first great race, with contestants racing four at a time with the winner moving on to the final round. Each peddler had a piece of cloth 7.5feet long; the one making it to the end of the cloth first was the winner. In the final round it was an exhausted Kathryn Manwaring throwing her arms in the air and claiming the championship and the prize of a new electric sewing machine, "Audrey Porter was gaining on Kathryn, but with 6 inches to go, Audrey's left foot thought it was her right and the machine stopped giving Kathryn the lead and the victory," said Tubbs who officiated the event.
"This was one of the most enjoyable things I've ever done for any kind of show. I will be sure to do it again, so practice up on those treadles for next year's races," added Tubbs.
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