Quilters Present Optical Illusions

By Beacon Staff

When Elaine White was a child, she’d tag along with her mother to hang out at church with the quilting ladies. “I’d sit under the quilt frame and watch the designs take shape from underneath,” she recalls.

Years later, White found herself as co-chair for the 2008 Flathead Quilters Guild’s annual show at the Flathead County Fairgrounds in Kalispell. The Whitefish quilter, along with Barb Penner of Columbia Falls, corralled 260 quilts for the show—many woven around their theme of optical illusions.

Together, the pair designed the raffle quilt called “Floating Leaves.” They used discharging–a new technique patterned after Colleen Wise’s art–to create the illusion of shadows beneath the fall leaves.

White also entered one quilt in the show–a large theme quilt loaded with colorful cubes, entitled “Jello Jigglers.” “It was the quilt that never ends,” she laughs. But then she adds, “I love quilting—from touching the fabric to looking at the colors, the whole nine yards.”

The show features quilts of all sizes, techniques, and colors. The public is welcome to attend demonstrations, and 27 vendors also sell quilt wares.

This year, a portion of the quilt show’s proceeds goes to Human Therapy on Horseback, which provides financial support for people with special needs to receive therapeutic horseback riding. The guild also makes over 200 quilts per year for distribution through local programs to high-risk pregnant women and their infants as well as dialysis patients.

The guild is unique as far as civic organizations go, for it attracts early teens through 80-year-olds. Noting that the show relies on a bevy of volunteers to organize and hang the quilts, White sums up, “Quilters are just fun creative people to be with.”

See the 27th Annual Quilt Show this weekend (Sept. 26-28; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Admission is $5.

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