by John F. Kaiser III – Navarro County Gazette
It is October which means the air is beginning to cool, Halloween is just around the corner, Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back on the menu, and the Piecemaker Quilt Guild of Corsicana have adorned the Warehouse Living Arts Center Theater & Gallery with a collection of amazing quilts on every available surface and then some.
This is the 40th quilt show that the Piecemaker’s Quilt Guild of Corsicana has conducted at the WLAC, and is one of the few quilt shows in the nation that hangs for more than 2-3 days. The only year they missed was 2020 due to COVID-19. Their quilt exhibit is always a favorite of the theatre and gallery’s patrons, who look forward to the event every year. This years “Ruby Jubilee Quilt Show” is currently on display at the WLAC, located at 119 W. 6th Avenue, Corsicana, TX, and runs until Oct. 22. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 10:00am to 3:00pm, and for this show will be open 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Saturday, Oct 9 and Sunday, Oct. 10, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday Oct. 23 when they will hold the quilt raffle drawing.
The first few days were abuzz with workers and judge organizing and subjectively studying each submission followed by the displaying of the quilts. With so many volunteers this year, they were able to get the entire show hung in a single day once the judging had concluded. There is something to say about the passion and dedication these people have for putting on this show.
This year’s show contains a special exhibit of miniature quilts in red and white designs. A number of these quilts are for sale with the proceeds going to the Warehouse Living Arts Center. If anyone would like to purchase one of these miniature quilts, they may contact the Quilt Sitters (guild members) who are volunteering at the WLAC during show hours.
There is also a display of two of the Guild’s community service projects. These projects include quilts made especially for kids in crisis and travel bags for kids that are then donated to local first responders to be distributed as needs arise.
In talking with Rexanne Thomas, the 2021 Quilt Show Chair, she expounded a fountain of knowledge and details about how the Quilt Shows work and about quilting in general.
“This year’s show theme is The Ruby Jubilee as it is the 40th anniversary show. Our show is totally produced by the members of the Piecemaker’s Guild. However, we do allow quilt entries from other guilds and independent quilters. While some shows have multiple judges, we only use one judge each year.”
I asked about the judges as I was curious. Are they certified? Are they local? Thomas answered “We do use certified judges and usually try to get a judge from Texas. In the past we’ve used judges from Tyler and the Metroplex. This year’s judge, Lisa Erlandson, lives in Gainesville, Texas.”
Thomas went on to detail what other important roles are involved in making the show happen. “This year’s quilt show committee consisted of Susan Copeland (Take In Coordinator), Jill Lively (Judging Coordinator), as well as Jeanette Cobb, Vicki Cochran, Doris Eakes, Judy Green, Jo Jordan, Ann Lovell, Dian Matous, Gail Roman, Becky Stephenson, Nancy Sloan, and Mildred Wooten.”
I imagine seeing these shows can be inspiring to many to try their hand at quilting, so I asked Thomas some questions such as how long does it take to make a quilt? How does one go about getting fabrics? What machines are involved? Do you have any resources you could share? She responded, “Firstly, anyone who is interested in quilting is welcome to visit our guild meetings. These are held on the first Monday of each month (except January and July). The guild meets at the Westhill church of Christ on West Hwy 22. Meetings begin at 10 a.m.”
“Depending on the complexity and size of the quilt, it can take many hours to make a quilt. I would estimate anywhere from 20 hours or more to complete a quilt.”
“There are many quilt shops within driving distance of Corsicana. Quilters usually try to visit local quilt shops when they travel in order to collect a wide variety of fabrics, notions, tools, patterns, and ideas for their next quilt project. It is the policy of the Piecemaker’s Quilt Guild to support these shops, but we do not endorse any shop in particular. If you ask 10 of our members to tell you their favorite quilt shop, you would likely get 10 different answers.”
“Some quilters still piece their quilt tops by hand. Other quilters use a wide variety of household sewing machines for piecing. A favorite of many quilters is the Singer Featherweight. Some are even using the Featherweight that has been passed down for generations. These collectible antique sewing machines sew a really pretty straight stitch, but do not have all of the “bells and whistles” found on more modern machines. Quilts may also be hand quilted.”
Each year guild members come together to make a quilt which is raffled off at the end of the show. This year’s quilt titled “Piece Offering” was designed by one of the guild members, Jill Lively. (It earned an “Honorable Mention” award in it’s category.)
The donation quilt is a sampler design of batik fabrics in varied colors of blue, green, purple, maroon and others. It is not a published pattern but an original design. Backing and border is a blue watercolor design.
Dimensions – 70″ x 86″
Tickets may be purchased from any guild member or while visiting the show. Proceeds from the raffle quilt fund the guild’s programs and community service projects for the upcoming year. Tickets are $1.00 each or $5.00 for six.
More information about the Guild or the Ruby Jubilee Quilt Show can be found on the guild website at corsicanaquiltguild.com.
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