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Local quilt show is a smashing success

Tami Jo Nix/The Madera Tribune Surrounded by quilting handiwork are members of the King family, from left, Angela Twitero; Nadine, Mary and, Steve King; and Ellery Twitero at Sunday’s Heart of California Quilters’ Guild show. A quilter since 1995, Mary King learned the skill from Phyllis Giersch.


A colorful sea of handmade quilts in varying sizes greeted visitors to the Heart of California Quilters’ Guild show last weekend in Hatfield Hall at the Madera District Fairgrounds. More than 30 displays created by guild members hung from stands and adorned accent furniture pieces throughout the main hall.

Vendors selling wearable art, jewelry, fabric, sewing machines and quilting tools did a brisk business during the show.

Displayed prominently near the door a beautiful quilt hung from a display rack.

Each year the guild’s main fundraiser is a raffle for what they call its opportunity quilt. This larger-than-king-sized bed quilt (128 inches x 120 inches) is a joint effort of the membership. Tickets are $1 each or six tickets for $5. Its colorful design uses a Dresden Plate pattern. The winning ticket will be drawn on Dec. 5. For tickets call Linda Sloan, 674-9131.

An estimated 300 people attended the show, said Sloan.

“It is thanks to (the late) Phyllis Giersch that the guild exists,” Sloan said.

Giersch, who died May 23, spearheaded the founding of the guild 25 years ago. Her fabric and sewing shop, Patchwork Pansy, taught more than 100 women the art of quilting.

Started with just 25 women, the membership is now at 93.

Featured quilters at this year’s show were Mary King and Kay Laswell.

This was the first time King has displayed her quilts since she began in 1995. She has made 50 quilts and wall hangings. She incorporates embroidery work in the blocks that make up the pieces she creates.

Laswell, a charter member of the guild, designs original patterns for her quilted pieces. One can see many themes in her work, including the ocean, forests, florals, history and even a cowboy portrait.

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