Wearable art highlights Quilting on the KenaI

Posted: Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Quilting on the Kenai, although "altered" somewhat this year was a smashing success, according to Pat Reese creator of the popular event and owner of Robin Place Fabrics in Soldotna. The annual quilt show did not take place as a result of ongoing renovations at Cook Inlet Academy. Nevertheless, quilting, sewing and fashion enthusiasts had several wonderful opportunities to satisfy their craving for creativity-inspiring quilts and garments. The week long "Quilt Walk" offered crafters and artists an opportunity to visit 11 local merchants, each of whom displayed quilts in their shops. The quilts were showcased with great artistry. Fabric devotees could pick up a passport at Trinity Greenhouse, Birchtree Gallery, Frames & Things, Donna's Gifts, Odie's Coffee Shop, Tammy's Flowers, Dragonfly Gallery, Foot Flare 'n Wear, River City Books, Northcountry Fair and Robin Place Fabrics. Passports stamped by all 11 merchants were eligible for generous and delightful prizes donated by the participating shops.

On Saturday, the last day of the quilt walk, a special exhibit of quilts by Trish Stuart was on display at Christ Lutheran Church in Soldotna. Trish, a former Alaskan employs many artistic techniques to her projects, including beading, felting, embellishments and thread painting, which results in unique and harmonious patterns. She is also the designer of two quilts that are favorites among Alaskans, Portraits of Alaska and Grizzlies. Trish Stuart is a featured instructor for the 2010 quilt show. She will offer workshops to share her methods and techniques.

The traditional finale of Quilting on the Kenai is the Art to Wear Fashion Show. Also held at Christ Lutheran Church, fabric and fashion aficionados were treated to approximately 80 creations made by artists from the Kenai Peninsula as well as from Anchorage and beyond. In honor of Alaska's 50th anniversary, several artists participated in a challenge to design a garment that reflected the "Spirit of Alaska." Ideas ranged from a jacket named "Blanket Toss" made by Lila Ann Krohn, using fabric from a line designed by local and nationally acclaimed artist, Letitia Hutchings of Mount Redoubt Designs to an ensemble designed by Sharon Hale, entitled "Fishing with Duct Tape," which was made of, guess what, duct tape! Other highlights included a collection of whimsical children's clothing designed by San Francisco Bay Area designer, Chelsea Andersen of Pink Fig Fashions. Local Connie Goltz presented a series of three stunning embellished creations that originated from items she had picked up at garage sales. A sense of humor on display with a dress called "Lefty's Woman," which featured working gloves appliqud to the bodice and down the back of a floor length gown. Three creations from Mary Hertert of Anchorage were offered; including hand painted and airbrushed vests. Also from Anchorage, was a silk trench coat by Jan Ingram and Carol McCarty, which was designed to celebrate children's love of the first day of snow. Some very special offerings came from Soldotna designer, Erin Micciche, whose truly lovely, romantic pieces included two spectacular wedding gowns, a piece entitled "Winter Fantasy" and a gown called "Regina Dela Deriva" that evoked images of the sea. The adorable children models were Mary Bruno, Angel Howlett, Lisa Krol, Adrian Krol, Soleil Sexon, Lyra Sexton, Maddy Sallon, Hadley Sallon, Taylon Robichaux and Johanna Sims. Adult models were Amy Blackwell, Jill Bruno, Nicole Clark, Karen Fogarty, Sherae Reese, Aime Sims, Barbara Steckel, Lindsey Wood and Kathy Wartinbee. Fashion Show curators were Lila Ann Krohn, Julie Sexton and Glenese Pettey. The master of ceremonies was Brenda Clyde. "Next year's Quilting on the Kenai will be even bigger and better, with the return of the quilt show and much, much more," promised Pat Reese.

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