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By JOHN LEE McLAUGHLIN
Daily News Staff Writer
All things quiltable will be at the beck and call of Ketchikan during the 26th annual run of the Rainy Day Quilt Guild exposition at the Ted Ferry Civic Center.
Dedicated this year to Nancy Mitchel and Betty Marksheffel, who recently passed away, the two-day show kicks off after a Feb. 17 awards ceremony for Rainy Day Quilt Guild members and invited guests.
The free, public exposition then will start at 10 a.m. on Feb. 18, lasting through 6 p.m. On Feb. 19, the show reopens at 10 a.m. and closes at 4 p.m.
Guild co-vice president Dena Minicucci said this year’s event was largely made possible by a $2,000 grant from Holland America Lines. Show staples like the quilt raffle covered the remaining cost.
Those show staples, however, are only part of the offerings for the 2017 show, Minicucci said.
“There’s quite a bit that’s new this year,” she said, later adding: “It takes up the entire Ted Ferry Civic Center.
New additions for the 2017 show include two special exhibits.
One is a “Quilts of Valor” display to honor military servicemen and servicewomen, with 13 quilts being awarded to local veterans at 6 p.m. during the Friday members ceremony, which is closed to the public, though the awarded quilts will be on display during the show.
For the second addition, “We have an exhibit called ‘Potluck,’ in which guild members were challenged to make a 12-inch quilt depicting a potluck dish,” guild co-vice president Judy Madden said.
“It could be a play on words; it could be realistic,” Madden added. “The person who organized it wanted to kind of ‘set the table.’”
The show will also include a community-service exhibit, in which attendees can help hand-tie fire quilts.
“When there is a fire in the community, if the fire damaged the home to the point where people lost things — which is most times — then a quilt is given to that person or family, just to help them out,” Minicucci said.
She said the community exhibit will also showcase guild efforts to craft bibs for the Ketchikan Pioneer Home, pillow cases for the advocacy nonprofit Women in Safe Homes, baby quilts for Ketchikan Family & Youth Services and quilts for those requiring care at PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center’s Infusion Center.
Meanwhile, for the main show, Madden said about 150 quilts of all types and sizes are displayed annually, though a smaller offering might be presented this year. The deadline to register a quilt, which is open to all who are interested, closed this past Thursday.
Walking into the civic center, show-goers first will see the event’s raffle quilt, for which a drawing will be held at 3 p.m. on Feb. 19. The quilt is a collaborative effort by the Rainy Day Quilt Guild.
Aside from helping cover event costs, raffle proceeds are used to raise funds to bring a professional quilter to Ketchikan to help the group hone its quilting expertise, a type of continuing education for the guild.
New last year, the 2017 show will again include a free make-and-take station, where attendees can create a pin cushion.
The scavenger-hunt “iSpy” contest will also make a return. In it, Minicucci and Madden will make a go-round of registered quilts and choose certain hard-to-find attributes. Attendees then hunt for them for a chance to win a wool applique wall hanging donated by a guild member.
“Last year was a little easier than the year before, so we have to buck up this year and make it a little harder,” Minicucci said, noting the contest can help attendees really grasp the intricacies of the featured works.
In addition to a silent auction of smaller goods, awards are also on the table.
For a Best of Show award, members of the Rainy Day Quilt Guild, which comprises about 60 hobbyists in and out of Ketchikan, vote on all of the registered quilts to chose first-place winners, denoted by blue ribbons, and second-place winners, denoted by red ribbons, in each of the about 10 show categories.
From the pool of blue-ribbon winners, a randomly chosen, community-based panel of three judges then selects a Best of Show quilt. Show attendees also can cast votes to choose a People’s Choice Award.
For more information, visit rainydayquilters.com.