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Quilt show marks 20th anniversary for Sunset Quilters

Chris Marchand

Chris Marchand served as editor of the Dryden Observer from August 2009 to April 2018.
Mary Jane Fleming and Hellen Stafford of the Sunset Country Quilters’ Guild invite all to the Thimble Treasures Quilt Show, April 28-29 at the Dryden Fairgrounds Agricultural Building. Photo by Chris Marchand

By Chris Marchand

The upcoming Thimble Treasures Quilt Show will be a special one for members of the Sunset Country Quilters’ Guild, a celebration of two decades for the tightly-woven local craft collective.

Held every two years, 2012’s Thimble Treasures show will take place at The Dryden Fairgrounds Agricultural Building, Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April 29.

Throughout the weekend local and visiting quilters will host seven themed workshops for practitioners of all abilities.

A tearoom will be operating onsite for refreshments and lunch.

“It gives people a chance to see the different things we get into within the guild,” said the group’s president Mary Jane Fleming.

A big draw for out-of-town visitors and nine vendors, Fleming says numbers look encouraging early on as the guild has nearly sold out Saturday night’s banquet. With its roots in pioneer culture, Hellen Stafford says travelling long distances to commune with friends is no problem for most regional quilters.

“We actually have members who drive to our meetings from Sioux Lookout, Ignace and Kenora,” she said. “It’s growing.”

The Sunset Country Quilters’ Guild formed with 17 members in March of 1992 with Anna May Krassilowsky as the group’s first president. These days the membership sits at 51 members who gather regularly to work on projects and learn new techniques.

Every year the show is held, the Guild issues a challenge to its members to create a quilted piece along a particular theme to be judged alongside its peers. This year’s theme is colourful recycling.

Show goers can pick one of the 94 quilts on display as their selection for a show-wide viewer’s choice award.

“There is no judge checking your seams,” said Stafford. “It’s all about appeal to the people who are there.”

A few cold and snowy years ago, Fleming and Stafford said that a distinctly male influence played a big role in the outcome of the viewer’s choice second place winner.

“This quilt had moose and deer on it — it normally wouldn’t have gotten too many votes from the ladies,” said Fleming. “But there was a lot of men at the show. They had to drive their wives because the roads were so awful.”


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