Editor's Note:Jan Glover is a member of Quilters Guild of East Texas, which sponsors the annual Tyler Quilt Show, set for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Harvey Convention Center.
he world of quilting has changed a lot during the past half century. The quilts that grandmother made are very different from the ones being made today.
The Quilters Guild of East Texas is a traditional guild with members using grandmother's tried-and-true techniques. Little by little, new concepts have entered our work — often without our awareness.
This year, the show chairman, Ileice Baker, chose "Not Your Grandmother's Quilt" as the show's theme.
Quilters have come to realize that many things have changed. Grandmother never shopped for fabric online in her nightgown. She never switched colors after finishing a quilt like we can when designing on our computer.
Now, tutorials are available on the Internet. Online chat rooms provide information and ideas. More artists are working in fabrics because they offer a different way of expression than paints, chalks, inks and pencils.
Now a woman can spend more money on a sewing machine than grandmother spent on her first house.
During the show, the more than 225 quilts on exhibit will represent a broad spectrum, from traditional to modern, by beginners to seasoned pros.
The quilts will be separated into categories and subcategories. Each size is judged in subcategories of pieced, appliqu￩d, mixed techniques and other methods. The groups are separated by the method of quilting (hand, home sewing machine or long arm machine.)
Susan Whatley, of Houston, will be the judge. Ms. Whatley is a National Quilting Association certified judge, skilled at recognizing outstanding design and workmanship. She will select first, second, third and honorable mention in each category. From the winners, she will choose the big awards — Best Machine Quilting, Best Hand Quilting, Best Use of Color, Exemplary Piecing, Exemplary Appliqu￩, Best Traditional Quilt and Best of Show.
Tammy Prater will be the judge for the Rose City Award. This judge always is a well-known member of the community. Tammy is executive director of the Red Cross chapters of Smith and Gregg counties. Because March is National American Red Cross Month, we wanted to honor the work of Red Cross.
Included in the show is a small unjudged section known as Grandmother's Corner. This showcases work of grandchildren or other children who guild members have helped to introduce the love of quilting.
More than four dozen challenge blocks also will be on display. The challenge fabrics were chosen to allow the members to experiment with ideas, leave their comfort zone and do something totally different.
Viewers can vote for their favorite quilt using the ballot in the program. The winner of Viewers' Choice will be announced at the end of the show.
Before the show, members of the guild got a preview of the quilts and picked the Members' Choice. Look for that ribbon hanging on the winner.
The opportunity to shop at the show will allow quilters to pick up new fabrics, tools and patterns. Thirty vendors will be in the main hall and four in the smaller hall with the Country Store.
If you get to the show before 10 a.m., you will be able to shop in the small hall where you will find vendors, a scissor sharpener and the guild's Country Store. Members Jeanne Crane and Janita Jaster said the Country Store will have lots of handmade gifts and gently used tools and fabric.
Vendors also will demonstrate techniques, patterns and machines. A list of demonstrations will be in the show program.
Stop and test drive a long arm-quilting machine. Check the program for an offer for discounted beginning piecing and quilting classes from The Nimble Thimble.
Each year, the guild includes the Old Fashioned Bed Turning (a way to show a lot of quilts).
It will be 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the main hall. Genie DeLong has loaned about 20 quilts that belonged to her mother, Sarah Minor. Mrs. Minor was a former member of the guild, a collector of antique quilts and a renowned hand quilter who won many ribbons. Marleta Herndon will give interesting details about the quilts.
Each year, a small group of guild members make a quilt to be raffled. This year's quilt is an especially beautiful one.
The proceeds will go to CASA for Kids of East Texas, Refuge of Light and Spirit of St. Louis Therapeutic Riding Center.
The donation quilt, "Starbursts," was made by the Nine-Patch small group. Members of the group worked on the quilt for 10 months. Cathy Woodson and Karen Schmidt served as co-chairs and did the quilting
The workers are: Lucille Aarant, Dorothy Craig, Marleta Herndon, Nancy McCabe, Sue Olsson, Charlotte Stahl and Dolores Sutherland.
Sue Olson is chair of raffle ticket sales. The winning ticket will be drawn after 4 p.m. on Saturday. The winner need not be present to win.
The Silent Auction will have an assortment of small quilts. Stop by and Ruth Barber will give bidders a number. A Buy-It Now price has been established for those who are ready to outbid everyone.
Stop by the guild table for information about meeting dates and times. The guild offers free monthly classes to members. Classes from nationally known quilters are provided on a fee basis.