There's nothing like a soft colorful, functional work of art to spread a smile across someone's face.
Members of Quail Country Quilters know the power of their quilts. That's why they donate them to local service groups such as Meals on Wheels, Old Town Mission, House of Ruth, Verde Valley Sanctuary, and Veterans of Foreign War, among others.
Quilting brings people of all ages and backgrounds together. Every spring a group of these quilters shares their craft with fourth- and fifth-graders at Tavasci Elementary. Young and old alike work in harmony as students learn to hand-sew blocks of fabrics together. With the assistance of these veteran quilters, the children make a memorable gift just in time for Mother's Day.
To support these philanthropic projects, club members coordinate a biennial fund-raiser. This year's show, "A Covey of Quilts II," will be held Friday and Saturday, Oct. 12-13, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Cottonwood Middle School, 500 E. Mingus Ave.
The show spotlights the best creations of the more than 100-member Guild. Quilters and fans can view approximately 230 quilts ranging in size from wall to bed quilts, art quilts and wearable quilted clothing. The display, which occupies the school gym and cafeteria, will encompass traditional designs, hand quilting, hand piecing, machine quilting and appliqué as well as more non-traditional art quilts.
"To get this many quilts, it takes about two years," explains member Karen Crowder of Camp Verde. "It's a lot of work and a lot of fun."
This year there will be quilting demonstrations, door prizes and six vendors who specialize in items that quilt lovers love.
"A Covey of Quilts II" also provides friendly competition among the members who spend two years working on new entries. Viewers can vote on their favorites from among 15 categories, and ribbons are presented to the winners.
"These quilts are works of art," says Ann C. Goodwin of Sedona, the show's publicity chairwoman. "Every year people get better and better."
In conjunction with the Quilt Show there will be a boutique loaded with a variety of handcrafted items made by Guild members. For the past year, dozens of hands have painstakingly worked on a raffle quilt. Designed by Crowder, this work of art measures 94-by-106 inches (bigger than a king-size sheet) and has been appraised at $1,500. The winner of the raffle will be announced Saturday around 4:45 p.m. and need not be present to win.
Entitled "Sunset Silhouettes," the quilt depicts Arizona and our surrounding environment. Its Southwestern theme is enhanced with sunset colors such as rich oranges, yellows and reds that explode off the fabric. Native wildlife such as javelina, quail and deer accentuate the inner square.
"It's not my quilt. It's the group's quit," Crowder emphasizes. "I like the way the center has so much movement, like a sunset."
In past years this event has attracted between 700 and 1,200 people.
"It takes a group effort to create something like this," adds Crowder, "Nobody does everything."
Admission is $5, which includes a $1 off coupon toward a purchase of $10 or more in the boutique. For those under age 8 or older than 80, admission is free. Students cost $2.
Quail Country Quilters is comprised from every community in the Verde Valley. The group meets the second and fourth Thursday of each month from 9:30 to noon at the VFW Hall on Aspen Street in Cottonwood. Quilters and wannabe quilters of all skill levels are invited to attend. For questions, call Ann Goodwin at 204-0783 or Linda Ward, Quail Country Quilters president, at 282-2958.