Loren Welmer of Soldotna took 1st place for original design with her Kenai River Quilt.
For the past 11 years visitors to the Quilting on the Kenai show have been amazed at the creativity and talent of local quilters. Talent that has gone on to earn national recognition in the quilt art community, "Every year has been fun and our goal has been to always add something new and different, worthy of someone coming to visit and every year I have been amazed when we unveil the quilts and garments. This year we introduced hats by Susan Well Smith for the first time, along with fabric post cards that have been created out of fabric and mailed from all over the world," said Pat Reese, owner of Robin Place Fabrics, who has organized the show each year.
Donna Tomlinson of Soldotna won top wall hanging honors.
A young woman who entered the show for the first time this year went away with the coveted Peoples Choice Best of Show award. Brenda Clyde of Soldotna says she started quilting 17 years ago when her husband bought her a new sewing machine, "I thought I should do something with it, so I made us a quilt," said Clyde who has worked at Robin Place Fabrics for the last 11 years but hadn't ever entered the show herself. Clyde says that she may enter the piece in other national competitions but after that it will find a place on her wall at home.
Peoples Choice winner Brenda Clyde at Quilting on the Kenai Show.
Another Soldotna quilter Donna Tomlinson won her first blue ribbon in the wall hanging category. Tomlinson winters in Arizona where she plans on giving the award winning quilt art to her teacher, "I want her to get some recognition for the class which I just took six weeks ago and maybe she'll find something else for me to do so I can win again next year," said Donna.
It was a triple-crown year for Soldotna quilters as Lorie Weimer; a relatively new quilter won top honors in the design and originality category. For her day job Weimer is a researcher scientist for a medical center in Los Angeles, California. Her entry was a map of the Kenai River that depicted all her husband Charlie's favorite fishing holes, "I bought a map from Katherine Parker at her map store and used that to draw the river and the surrounding terrain and then labeled all my husbands favorite fishing spots and places we like to go along with our friends houses on the river," explained Weimer. Those hoping to locate Charlie's secret fishing holes are out of luck as Lorie says the award winning quilt will not be put on public display, "I made the quilt for Charlie and for now it'll be hanging in his den, not at the bank, in his den," laughed Laurie.
Other 1st place winners at the Quilting on the Kenai show included: Wearables - Dani Mains of Sterling; Miniatures - Diane Owens of Seward; Appliqu - Doris Lane of Soldotna; Crib Quilts - Helen Vellinga of Kenai; Lap Quilts - Kathy Sanders Zufelt of Soldotna; Bed Quilts - Betty West of Kenai; Hand quilted - Elizabeth Stevens of Kenai; Made by Youth - Ellie M. Plate of Soldotna; Dolls - Karen Fogarty of Anchorage; Purses - Bille Rae Maxie of Cooper Landing; Other - Barbara Steckel of Sterling. According to Pat Reese, the organizing committee met the day after the show closed last week to begin planning the 12th Quilting on the Kenai show for next year.
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