The making of a masterpiece

Dolores Mountain quilters prepare for weekend show

Barb Shafer and Judi Swain display the quilt that is being raffled at the Dolores quilt show.

By Shannon Livick

The Dolores Star

The hum of sewing machines filled the banquet room behind the Ponderosa Restaurant Tuesday morning as a small group of women concentrated on making masterpieces.

Many of them were under the gun to get their projects ready for the Dolores Mountain Quilters Quilt Show. The biennual event is this Friday and Saturday, Aug. 22-23.

Kate Nemaic was putting the finishing touches on a beautiful quilt with a flower pattern in blues and whites. She'd been working on it for two years.

Barb Shafer, who has been quilting for about 12 years, was excited for the event, which will feature three of her quilts and one of her wall hangings.

"I like to see what everybody does," she said of the show.

Judi Swain said the quilt show is open to everyone, but the majority of the quilts are those done by quilt club members. The Dolores Mountain Quilters boasts 88 members, and while they technically meet once a month, that didn't stop them from meeting again at the Ponderosa on Tuesday, as a subset of the group called Sew and Sews, organized by club member Nemaic.

"We come here because we miss our sisters," Nemaic said.

Nemaic said she doesn't have sisters, so she loves to get together with her quilting sisters.

They sew, they chat, they consult, and they help one another solve problems.

The show will feature about 100 quilts. There will be door prizes given. Entrance to the show for those 16 and older is $3. Children are admitted for free.

At this show, judging is done by those that attend, Swain said.

Judging categories range from best bed quilt, best lap quilt, best wall quilt, best baby quilt, best artistic quilt and best youth quilter.

"We have a lot of wonderful quilts this year," Swain said. "The art quilts will just blow you away."

The art of quilting is something everyone can appreciate, Swain said.

At once thought to be a dying art, quilting recently has started an upsurge with nearly 30 million quilters worldwide, Swain said. This fact, she attributed to baby boomers retiring. She added, she started quilting when she retired.

"It's a way to express yourself," Swain said. "It's an outlet for your creativity."

The show not only shows off some of area's most talented quilters, it also allows those that attend to win door prizes and shop at the boutique.

The boutique will offer quilts for sale, crafts and all kinds of quilted items.

"Several people start their Christmas shopping there," Nemaic said.

Nemaic said that when she started quilting, she thought she'd never be able to do it.

"I saw quilts, and they were beautiful, and people said, 'You can do this.' And I said, 'No I can't.' Yet here I am," she said.

There will also be a chance to purchase raffle tickets for the club's beautiful king-size quilt titled "Homeward Journey."

Linda Towle, who was working on a beautiful Southwestern quilt on Tuesday, was excited for the show.

"What's really fun is we see people working on these throughout the year, and we go to the show, and then there they are all finished and beautiful," Towle said.

Proceeds from the raffle, the boutique and the show go toward the charities that the quilt club supports.

The club makes lap quilts for veterans every year. Members assist with afterschool programs and 4-H clubs. Quilts are donated to the Child Advocacy Center and assisted-living centers. In addition, the club raised $3,400 for the Child Advocacy Center last year, Swain said. The club also provides handmade stockings filled with toys to local foster children every year.

"We have a lot of very generous quilters in our group," Nemaic said.