Visitors to Earl Warren Showgrounds on Saturday found the Exhibit Hall filled with hundreds of colorful handmade quilts made by Santa Barbara County residents.
Quilters and onlookers united to celebrate and highlight the work of local quilters’ designs during a two-day fundraiser, hosted by the Coastal Quilters Guild of Santa Barbara and Goleta. The expo covered all topics quilt-related, and featured more than 200 traditional, modern and contemporary handmade quilts drafted and designed by guild members.
Each member chose the fabric, colors, technique and inspiration that reflected the quilter’s uniqueness. A combination of detailed stitching and colorful palette patterns was arrayed throughout the building.
“Quilting is fun because each one is different,” member Sue Kadner told Noozhawk. “You select the fabric, but you never know what it will look like until it is finished and put together.”
This year’s “Harvest of Colors Quilt” show displayed the “Santa Barbara Quilt,” which has hung in the Washington office of Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, since the late 1990s. The 91-inch-by-87-inch quilt was inspired by individual scenes of Santa Barbara, including Old Spanish Days Fiesta, the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, the Arlington Theatre and a variety of flowers and trees.
Visitors viewed a piece titled “Museum Impressions,” which was made in 1991 for the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History to mark its 75th anniversary. Embroidered on the 92-inch-by-92-inch quilt were designs of Chumash Indian rock art, tide pools, a rattlesnake, a sea lion and a poppy field.
The show featured multiple quilt patterns inspired by Santa Barbara.
Groups within the guild focused on creating modern art quilts.
One piece titled “Bling It (It’s a Girl Thing)” was designed using Harley-Davidson T-shirts that a member collected from the United States, Canada, Austria, Germany, Ireland and New Zealand.
Another called “Broken Dishes” used men’s shirts as the fabric. Tiny half-square triangles were cut and stitched together to create the colorful design.
Over the years, the members have donated thousands of quilts to local nonprofit organizations, Kadner said.
Last year, the Coastal Quilters Guild donated 150 Christmas stockings for children served by CALM (Child Abuse Listening Mediation). Members also honored military veterans in hospice care for their service by creating 93 red, white and blue quilts.
Santa Barbara resident Kathryn Richardson found the creations intriguing as she browsed the rows of quilts Saturday afternoon.
“I have a bunch of extra material at home, and I’m looking for something to do with it,” she said. “I came to find inspiration. Each quilt is a piece of art, and seeing the details up close is great.”
Vendors displayed the latest in crafting supplies and fabrics, from educational books and sewing machines to threads, needles and thimbles. The event also featured demonstrations and quilt competitions.
The 10th biennial show continues through 5 p.m. Sunday at Earl Warren Showgrounds, 3400 Calle Real, in Santa Barbara. Proceeds from the show help fund the guild’s community projects.
“This event can appeal to a large crowd,” Coastal Quilters Guild president Linda Boynton de Sepulveda said. “Each piece is creative, and it’s great to see people enjoying the show.”
Guild meetings are held at 6:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 4575 Auhay Drive in Santa Barbara.