“My house looks like a little quilt factory,” says Sally Glutting. “People keep dropping stuff off.” For six years, Glutting has collected quilts for the Celebrate Women fundraiser for the local Violence Free Crisis Line and Abbie Shelter.
Throughout July and August, the Celebrate Women 2008 quilt show revolves its displays on the walls of Loula’s in downtown Whitefish. Rather than traditional bed quilts, the show features unique contemporary art pieces. Many are original designs, instead of patterns, sewn mostly by Kalispell and Whitefish quilters. “We want to showcase what quilters are doing,” says Glutting. “It’s great for the public to see the variety and breadth of what you can do with quilting today and an opportunity for quilters to experiment with new techniques.”
While the primary reason for the show is raising money for the crisis line and shelter, Glutting also sees other reasons, too. “It’s so important to keep us educated in the arts,” she says. “Quilting moved beyond the craft status long ago.”
So far, Glutting has 86 quilts lined up. But only a portion hang for viewing now. “People come in and buy them right off the wall,” she explains. During the summer, she rearranges the quilts around the walls and adds more as the art works sell.
All the quilts are for sale with a chunk of each sale going to the crisis line and shelter. Quilters usually only make enough to cover their fabric money. “People can come in, have breakfast, and buy a quilt,” laughs Glutting, who notes that more than locals purchase the quilts. “At least half are tourists.”
Because of wall space, the show has evolved through its tenure into smaller pieces. Sizes range from foot-long to four feet long with no limits on theme.
At the end of August, the Violence Free Crisis Line organizes a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception at the restaurant that culminates in a silent auction of donated art quilts.
“I never know how many quilts we’re going to hang or sell,” Glutting laughs. “We just fill the walls.”