Charlotte Quilters’ Guild invites you to travel “Through the Garden Gate” at its annual quilt show and vendor mall.
That’s the theme of the 2013 show, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. March 8-9, at Metrolina Tradeshow Expo on Statesville Road in Charlotte.
“It’s not an amateur undertaking. It’s a very well-thought-out, planned event,” said Donna Hartenstine, 58, president of the guild.
The guild, a nonprofit organization, promotes quilting with fellowship, education and outreach.
The show features 150-200 quilts and more than 25 vendors selling fabric, sewing notions, yarn and other items. There will be demonstrations, raffles, a silent auction, a boutique and door prizes.
Some quilts are entered in judged categories; others are for display only.
In 2012, the show attracted visitors from as far away as Greensboro and Winston-Salem. About 1,500 people attended.
Proceeds from the show help members reach out to the community during the year to donate quilts for warmth and reassurance. Members create several types of quilts to donate.
Cuddle quilts are for infants and children in area hospitals. More than 325 were given away last year.
About 30 comfort quilts – for women with cancer in local oncology units – were given out last year.
The guild donated about 50 quilts for soldiers in red, white and blue, with stars or other patriotic patterns. Quilts for soldiers bear labels saying, “From those who sew, to those who serve. Thank you.”
The soldiers’ quilts are distributed through the Veterans Affairs medical center in Salisbury and the United Service Organizations of North Carolina at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, said Debbie Rieck, 54, who chairs the guild’s quilts for soldiers program.
Members hold workshops to focus on producing outreach quilts.
“It’s a fun way to get together and socialize,” said Rachel Schul, 50, outreach co-chair.
Schul was in an office supply store copying quilting patterns when a woman told Schul that her son had received a quilt as a sick infant. The boy is now in high school, and the family was so touched by the donation that they kept his quilt.
“And there’s no way they’d get rid of that quilt,” she said.
The guild also provides fidget quilts for a memory care facility.
“For the memory care residents, they find that a lot of the tactile sensations stay with them or have a real strong impression,” said Lynn Barrett, 62, one of the quilt show co-chairs.
The guild dates to 1977, when Sue McCarter taught an advanced quilting class to a small group of women who continued quilting together.
Now there are around 200 members. Meetings are at 7 p.m. the first Wednesday of the month at the Tyvola Senior Center, 2225 Tyvola Road in south Charlotte.
“In the past couple years, there’s been a lot more younger members coming in, and I think that that’s interesting to see that broad range of interests and what people are doing with sewing and quilting skills,” said Kathy Korzan, a quilt show co-chair.