Quilting evolves far beyond scrappy roots | PostIndependent.com

Quilting evolves far beyond scrappy roots

Ryan Graff
Post Independent Staff

Quilting. It’s not a hobby that typically evokes visions of progressiveness, high-art, or flashy, high-tech machines, but quilting is hipper than you’d expect.

Though quilting was born out of resourcefulness and necessity, it has changed quite a bit. These days quilters attend international quilt shows that draw 250,000 people, keep $5,000 worth of quilting supplies in their sewing rooms, and own computerized sewing machines. Some models are capable of downloading images from computers and practically sewing the images into fabric. The price: a modest $6,000.

The technology and popularity of quilting have produced some impressive quilts, and many are on display this weekend at the 11th Annual Mother’s Day Quilt Show at the Hotel Colorado.

“Grandma would have used something left over from the shirts to make something warm for the bed,” said B. Anne Greene of quilting’s necessity-driven beginnings. Greene is a Glenwood Springs quilter and co-chair of the Mother’s Day Quilt Show.

“It’s become an art,” said Greene. “It’s not just using scraps around your house.”

Many of the quilts on display this weekend show just how much quilting as evolved.

One quilt, “Mano del Sol,” a Southwestern-inspired quilt, would be impressive if it had been painted, let alone sewn, and looks like it could hang on a gallery wall.

Another, done primarily in black and white, is stunning, but made all the more so by the fact that it functions as a shower curtain.

Many of the other quilts are equally impressive and were created as “challenge quilts.” Challenge quilting is a sort of creative competition where quilters are given 14 fabrics to work with and each must create their own quilt.

Though the fabrics are the same, each challenge quilt is very unique. They range in design from big orange butterflies to purple star-shaped images. Only a close inspection reveals that each quilt uses the same fabrics.

Though many of the quilts are contemporary in design and were machine-sewn, there are also impressive hand-sewn quilts that look like ones Grandma could have sewn sitting in her rocking chair.

Most of the quilts in this year’s show are from local quilting guilds Quilters of the Rockies, based in Glenwood Springs, and Needle and I, based out of Carbondale.

In addition to the quilts, sewing machines ” from the 1800s hand-crank machines up to the most current, high-tech, computerized machines ” will be on display.

Contact Ryan Graff: 945-8515, ext 520


What: 11th Annual Mother’s Day Quilt Show

Where: Hotel Colorado

When: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday

Tickets: $2, children under 12 are free

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