A quilt is a feast for the senses. It delights the eyes, warms the body and comforts the soul.
“The beauty of it is that you make quilts for those in need, but you can also make birthday gifts, Mother’s Day gifts, Christmas gifts, anything with quilts. “said Sheryl Deere, spokesperson for Abilene Quilters’ Guild.
“It’s so satisfying to know that they’d be like, ‘Oh, look at that. You did that for me.'”
A buffet of more than 100 quilts will be featured at the 28th Annual Stars Over Abilene Regional Quilt Show Friday and Saturday at the Abilene Convention Center.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $10, or $7.50 for people 62 and over and free for children under 12.
Organized by the non-profit guild, the show annually celebrates the form and art of craftsmanship. There will also be a silent auction, snack bar, Quilts of Valor presentation and vendors selling fabrics, patterns, haberdashery, tools and more.
On Friday, participants can vote for their favorite quilts, which are also judged in several categories. The winners’ ribbons will be handed out on Saturday.
The quilts will look like oversized banners hanging from display bars set up throughout the convention center. Participants can browse the rows of quilts to appreciate their size and design.
Colorful geographic patterns will define some quilts. Others will look like a painting, with fabric collages creating the scene.
The stitching pattern, or quilting, which combines the top and back of the quilt, often with a layer of batting in between, usually adds another touch to the view of the quilt.
Quilt raffle before the show
Prior to the show, three raffle quilts are currently on display at the Abilene Mall. Guild members sell raffle tickets, which cost $1 each or $5 for six, Deere said.
Each quilt benefits a different charity:
► Operation Blue Santa Claus. Abilene police officers take a needy or at-risk child on a one-to-one shopping trip to buy gifts for the child’s family.
► Homes for Healing. Tiny houses are maintained as temporary lodgings for those traveling to Abilene for medical treatment.
► The West Central Texas Food Bank. The agency works with food pantries and other organizations to provide food in a 13-county area.
The raffle winners will be announced Saturday afternoon during the show.
Bring comfort and joy
Supporting charities is a year-round commitment for the guild’s approximately 70 members, Deere said.
In addition to raffle quilts for the three charities, guild members work individually and together throughout the year to sew quilts and other products for the Noah Project, Quilts of Valor, Quilts for Cops , West Texas Rehabilitation Center, Hendrick Hospice Care, and children in the Child Protective Services foster care program.
Proceeds from the Quilt Show also help the guild run workshops to benefit quilters of all skill levels.
“Each of us has a story of how we got started in quilting,” Deere said of guild membership.
Most of these stories begin with time spent with a mother or grandmother, she said.
From the age of 9, Deere sat with his sister under a quilt frame set up in the living room. The children played and listened while the women of the family sat around the frame to sew the blankets and tell stories.
“When they said, ‘I need a needle and a thread,’ whoever was closest to them would thread that needle because they had trouble seeing like we all do,” said said Deere.
In his youth, Deere considered quilting an “old-fashioned thing.” She started the hobby about nine years ago.
“When you get older, you still want to be what your family was. You just want to go back to your family roots. You just want that legacy. It’s just part of you. You know, you hang on to it. It’s just really lovely,” Deere said.
When the quilt guild meets
Abilene Quilters’ Guild was formed in 1981 and meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second Monday of the month at Ridgemont Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, 4857 Buffalo Gap Road.
Members arrive 30 minutes early to enjoy a potluck.
Meeting activities may include member presentations and stories of old and new projects, discussions of ongoing community projects, contests, monthly projects, and/or a guest teacher.
Guests are welcome at guild meetings.
For more information, visit abilenequiltersguild.net or the Abilene Quilters Guild group Facebook page.
Laura Gutschke is a generalist journalist and food columnist and manages the online content of the Reporter-News. If you enjoy local news, you can support local reporters with a digital subscription to ReporterNews.com.