Double O Quilters will be there — will you?

Quilt BC 2013 local poster

by Marianne Parsons

If the image of a quilt in your mind is something handmade, warm and on a bed, then it’s time for an image upgrade.

Today’s quilts are just as likely to be on the wall as on the bed, and contain paper, synthetics, paint, ink, metal or other substances not noted for their warmth. Quilting the layers together is often done by a computerized sewing machine, sometimes with no human at the wheel.

The world of modern quilt making is light years away from its original form, and filled with new techniques, tools and technology. You will have a chance to see the top quilts in Canada, and get a close look at the secrets to their construction when the Canadian Quilters Association (CQA/ACC), Canada’s only national quilting organization, brings the 32nd National Juried Show (NJS) to Penticton May 16 – 18.

Quilt BC 2013 at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre will bring together thousands of quilters from across the nation for the National Juried Show that celebrates the best in contemporary quilt making. After the awards ceremony on Wednesday evening, the NJS will be open to the public from Thursday, May 16 to Saturday, May 18 for 3 jam-packed days.

There are 5 accompanying shows featuring more Canadian quilters: The Fibre Art Network’s “Fibrescapes” exhibit with 30 pieces from across Western Canada; SAQA (Studio Art Quilters Associates) with 40 pieces from among their 3000 members titled “Best of the West”; The Fabricators based in the South Okanagan showing 15 “Elements” pieces; the “Invitational” featuring CQA executive, teachers and the Quilt BC 2013 organizing committee; and a special exhibit celebrating the past 24 winners in the Trend-Tex Challenge.

For 25 years, Trend-Tex Fabrics Sales has donated kits of 5 fabrics from which CQA members create quilt art to be auctioned off during the conference to raise funds for CQA. This year, the theme is “Sunshine and Vines” in honor of Quilt BC 2013 in Penticton. The public is invited to vote for a favorite from among the approximately 100 entries, and to participate in the silent auction of the quilts.

To add to the frenzy, there will be over 50 merchant booths featuring everything a stitcher could desire. There will be the latest in sewing machines, irons, threads, books, rulers and fabrics. Add to that the custom-created fabrics, the burning tools, the beads, ribbons and embellishments, the discharge supplies, dyes, paints and inks, stencils, stamps, foils, kits and other fabric art necessities, and you have a quilters’ paradise.

Access to some exhibit areas will be by admission ticket. The merchant mall and Trend-Tex Challenge areas have free entry, allowing unlimited shopping and voting. Open hours to all areas are Thursday, May 16, 10 – 5:30; Friday, May 17, 10 – 6; Saturday, May 18, 10 – 5.

To find out more about the CQA/ACC or Quilt BC 2013, check out