Friday, May 18, 2007

Passion for patchwork

By Roszan Holmen

If you think quilting ladies are stuffy, quiet and dull, think again.

On May 17, the Heart and Hands guild held a quilt showcase that packed the Omniplex curling room. Almost 200 local and visiting guild members cheered, laughed, clapped and gave a standing ovation for guest speaker Gloria Loughman, all the way from Australia.

Loughman, who’s won several international quilting awards, spends her time travelling the world, teaching workshops and giving talks about her work. Suspended along one side of the room, her quilts featured exotic landscapes, intricate stitching and vibrantly painted fabrics.

Before getting down to business, Loughman entertained the crowd with survival stories from her travels: being escorted off an American army base, rescued from floods by handsome firefighters and leaving class in an ambulance after passing out. Despite the disasters that seem to follow her around, she laughs that she’s always been invited back to teach. Who would have guessed that quilting could be so adventuresome?

The Heart and Hands quilting guild meets once a month and has 55 members. President Naomi Pearson says it’s “to learn about quilting, but it’s more about friendship.”

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