Lasting impression: quilters incorporate passion and creativity into designs

The Prairie Piecemakers Quilters’ Guild is hosting its first quilt show since 2018 at the Caledonia Curling Club in Regina over the weekend. The show usually takes place every two years but was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Tannis Fahlman estimates that she put in more than 1,000 hours of work over a year and a half when she created the top-rated quilt at the Lasting Imprint quilt show at the Caledonia Curling Club in Regina.

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Fahlman, president of the quilt show for the organizing Prairie Piecemakers Quilters’ Guild, spent about $1,100 building the show piece, titled Mindful Moments, including materials as well as stretching and other labor to using a long arm machine.

“I had success at the national level. … I haven’t won in the United States yet and I think that’s what keeps me coming back,” Fahlman said. “I would like to win and be known as an international award-winning quilter, rather than a national (winner).”

Mindful Moments, completed in 2021, got its name because Fahlman wanted a name to exemplify the soothing and relaxing nature of quilting. A show piece, it was also entered into the 2021 National Juried Show.

Another piece by Fahlman, titled Rhombus Rules, won third place at the show in the Traditional Wall and Bed Quilt category. Fahlman estimates that she has been making show quilts for about five or six years.

If a piece is judged well enough, it could make the rounds at quilt shows in the United States and Canada where there are major prizes for the winners. Once a quilt has been accepted into a show, it cannot be resubmitted to the same show later, she added.

“For me, it’s an outlet for creativity,” Fahlman.

Quilt Show President Tannis Fahlman stands behind her award-winning quilt as volunteers prepare for an upcoming quilt show, to be held Friday and Saturday at the Callie Curling Club hosted by the Prairie Piecemakers Quilter's Guild.
Quilt Show President Tannis Fahlman stands behind her award-winning quilt as volunteers prepare for an upcoming quilt show, to be held Friday and Saturday at the Callie Curling Club hosted by the Prairie Piecemakers Quilter’s Guild. Photo by KAYLE NEIS /Regina Chief’s Post

The theme for the 2022 show is Lasting Imprint, anything that has left an imprint on someone over the past four years. Whatever that may symbolize changes from person to person, Fahlman said.

The guild’s charity arm, Connecting Threads, will also donate around 50 charity quilts to groups working with cancer patients, premature babies, sick children, families in need and those fleeing domestic violence. . Connecting Threads has donated thousands of quilts, placemats and pillowcases over the past seven years.

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“For me, I’m most proud of how much people will donate to this and share their talents,” Fahlman said.

Volunteers and organizers were busy Thursday setting up displays for the 272 pieces entered in the 2022 iteration of the Prairie Piecemakers Quilters’ Guild show. Normally held every two years, it was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It opened Friday and continues from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

“It’s good to see what we’ve done. Because of COVID, a lot of people stayed home, they didn’t shop, so they used whatever fabric they had and they used their imaginations and made quilts,” said Shelley Kloczko, guild member.

Quilts are separated into several categories and judged, such as quilts made by hand, machine or from a kit. Judging was made earlier in the week and takes into account the technical aspects of the piece, such as color, craftsmanship and design.

It will take approximately three to five minutes for the judge to review and evaluate each quilt. A quilt, on the other hand, can take months or even years of work to complete.

Judges award grades of A, excellent, B, satisfactory or C, needs improvement, in various aspects such as the overall appearance of the quilt, the integration of design elements, the use of color and “visual impact”, among other areas. Each quilt has already been judged and the winners chosen in each of the categories, their displays adorned with ribbons.

A quilt made by Margaret R, Martin hangs on the wall as volunteers prepare for an upcoming quilt show, to be held Friday and Saturday.
A quilt made by Margaret R, Martin hangs on the wall as volunteers prepare for an upcoming quilt show, to be held Friday and Saturday. Photo by KAYLE NEIS /Regina Chief’s Post

“Every quilt has a story. The quilt writes a story on its quilt. The judge considers that story and whether or not the quilter was able to bring the message to life in the quilt,” said Jacquie Berger, who helped to establish.

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Feedback forms are provided, some with suggestions for a more competitive quilt, such as avoiding dark fabrics that could shade through lighter fabric or more precise measurements to ensure the quilt is straight .

There are cash prizes for each of the categories, sponsored by community members and businesses, totaling around $3,200 in total. First prize in any category is $50, second is $30, and third is $20.

It is hoped that there will be around 600-700 people showing up for each show every day. Other guilds will have room to set up shop and promote themselves and vendors will be set up to sell their wares, although the quilts on display themselves are not for sale.

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The winning designs hang on the wall during the Quilt Show.
The winning designs hang on the wall during the Quilt Show. Photo by KAYLE NEIS /Regina Chief’s Post
Quilt books sit on tables.
Quilt books sit on tables. Photo by KAYLE NEIS /Regina Chief’s Post
Galleries of quilts hang as volunteers prepare for an upcoming quilt show, which will take place Friday and Saturday at the Callie Curling Club hosted by the Prairie Piecemakers Quilter's Guild.
Galleries of quilts hang as volunteers prepare for an upcoming quilt show, which will take place Friday and Saturday at the Callie Curling Club hosted by the Prairie Piecemakers Quilter’s Guild. Photo by KAYLE NEIS /Regina Chief’s Post

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