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Pieceable Passion

RICKREALL -- Quilting done well takes time.

Dallas Piece Makers quilting club members Marie Beers, left, and Colleen Kibbey work on quilts while keeping an eye on the club's area at the 2013 Mid-Valley Quilt Guild Show on Saturday at the Polk County Fairgounds and Event Center. The club was honored as the "featured quilters" during the Thursday through Saturday affair that highlighted more than 200 quilts made by quilters from around the Willamette Valley.

Photo by Pete Strong

Dallas Piece Makers quilting club members Marie Beers, left, and Colleen Kibbey work on quilts while keeping an eye on the club's area at the 2013 Mid-Valley Quilt Guild Show on Saturday at the Polk County Fairgounds and Event Center. The club was honored as the "featured quilters" during the Thursday through Saturday affair that highlighted more than 200 quilts made by quilters from around the Willamette Valley.

April 30, 2013

RICKREALL -- Quilting done well takes time.

Just ask the members of the Dallas Piece Makersquilting club, who spent more than a year planning and piecing together the quilt raffled at the 2013 Mid-Valley Quilt Guild Show, held Thursday through Saturday at the Polk County Fairgrounds and Event Center.

The stunning white and red quilt, called "Fire and Ice," was a joint project with each participating club member designing and making two blocks.

The club took its time to make sure it was perfect.

"They had to make two practice blocks first before we would allow them to use the good fabric," said club member Marie Beers, smiling.

Some spectators toured the show floor in groups to discuss each quilt

Photo by Pete Strong

Some spectators toured the show floor in groups to discuss each quilt's unique qualities and the work that went into them.

That dedication paid off as more than 3,500 raffle tickets were sold by late morning Saturday -- and more were being purchased by the minute.

The quilt show, this year entitled "Fire and Ice: Pieceable Passions," is the guild's main fundraiser and is held every two years to make sure the approximately 350 members of the guild have the time to show their best work.

"We have a lot of really exceptional quilters in the Mid-Valley Quilt Guild," said Lisa Encabo, one of two guild presidents. "People look forward to this show every other year. And this year, they didn't disappoint. ... We are very fortunate to be deep in talent in our guild."

More than 200 quilts were on display, showcasing bright color combinations, traditional and contemporary designs, and intricate detail. It takes time to soak in all the patterns in just one quilt, but that's part of the appeal, according to members of the Dallas Piece Makers.

Audrey Forbes of Dallas inspects a row of quilts. The show featured more than 200 quilts in a stunning variety of colors and styles.

Photo by Pete Strong

Audrey Forbes of Dallas inspects a row of quilts. The show featured more than 200 quilts in a stunning variety of colors and styles.

The club has been meeting since 1975 and has seen a resurgence in membership in recent years. Beers believes the growing popularity of quilting is in part a reaction to many products being mass-produced and disposable.

"I think people are trying to go back to old ways because society has become a `throw away,'" Beers said. "To make something that you can pass down to your children, to the next generation, I think people are liking that. We've gotten away from that, but now it is coming back."

Colleen Kibbey, who has been a member for seven years, said she enjoys learning about the history of quilts, who made them and why they chose the design. She's become a collector of old quilts, finding them through estate sales.

Janet McLeon, Denise Sherry and Laurie Nielsen, from left, conduct a "quilt turning." The group presented a variety of quilts and told the stories behind them three times daily throughout the show.

Photo by Pete Strong

Janet McLeon, Denise Sherry and Laurie Nielsen, from left, conduct a "quilt turning." The group presented a variety of quilts and told the stories behind them three times daily throughout the show.

"There's a story, usually, behind what you do," she said.

Now Beers, Kibbey and the rest of the Dallas Piece Makers are carrying on that tradition through their own work.

"I think people are getting to appreciate something handmade and that somebody put their heart and soul into," Beers said.

"It's a labor of love," Kibbey added.

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