Quilters 2020

The Rainy Day Quilters will host the 29th Annual Quilt Show “Quilting in the Rain” on Feb. 15-16 at Ted Ferry Civic Center. A raffle will be held to win the queen-size quilt on display at Studio 103 in The Plaza mall. Staff photo by Dustin Safranek

From a baby's blanket to a queen-sized bed quilt, there will be something for everyone to marvel at during the upcoming 29th annual Rainy Day Quilters Guild “Quilting in the Rain” show.

The show will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Feb. 15 at the Ted Ferry Civic Center. It will reopen from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb. 16.

The annual event is hosted by the Rainy Day Quilters Guild, and boasts an array of quilted items created by not only guild members, but crafters throughout the First City.

“There's such a variety of quilters in our community,” longtime guild member Barbara Bailey told the Daily News. “You don't have to be part of the guild to show your quilt.”

However, the show isn't just for admiring the projects of community creators.

As an annual tradition, there also will be a raffle quilt on display. Raffle tickets for the quilt became available last summer.

“We started selling raffle tickets I would say (in) August, September,” said Dawn Teune, a 20-year member of the guild. “So we really pushed through the Christmas season and then through the show.”

This year, the quilt is queen-sized. The pattern was named “storm at sea.”

“We try to make a big one one, so somebody would love it,” Bailey said.

To create the quilt, guild members worked together and took responsibility for pieces of the quilt. Teune estimates the project took close to three months to complete.

“It was a guild effort,” Teune said.

The annual raffle will not be the only guild effort on display at the show.

As a new addition to the show in the past few years, the guild has been presenting “quilts of valor” during the event. Quilts of valor are created by the guild, typically using the patriotic colors of red, white and blue. The quilts are then presented to veterans at the show. The guild also distributes quilts of valor around Memorial Day and Veterans Day, according to Bailey and Teune.

The show is also a chance for members of the Rainy Day Quilters Guild to receive recognition for their work from a panel of judges.

As part of the show, Teune and Bailey said that there is always a “community service project” available.

For the community service project, anyone who attends the show can help tie a quilt. The finished products will be donated to community members who lose their homes in fires.

Attendees of the show can also create a “make-and-take project,” or a small sample of a quilted item that people attending the quilt show can create with assistance from a quilter.

The Rainy Day Quilters Guild — and the show with which they are synonymous — began nearly three decades ago.

“The quilt guild was formed in 1988, and as far as I know, they started having shows shortly after that. So within the first couple years, they started with shows,” Teune said.

Teune said that the show did not always happen at the Ted Ferry Civic Center. She estimates that the civic center became the home of the annual quilting show around five or six years ago.

Regardless of the location, the annual event is a way to highlight community quilters and their work, while supporting the Rainy Day Quilters Guild.

While Teune said that the mission of the show was “just to showcase the talent of the quilt guild,” the show also helps the guild pay for renowned quilters to put on classes and workshops.

“We've been trying to bring a teacher up once a year,” Teune explained. “It doesn't always work, which is really the bottom line whole point of our quilt show, is to provide funds so that we could bring quilters. … We've had quite a few really great people that have come in the past.”

At the annual show, interested individuals will get the chance to see a wide range of projects from quilters of all skill levels.

Teune estimates that there are over 100 entries into the show. Last year's total number of entries hovered around 150.

Stacy Brainard, who joined the guild in 2016, said there are requirements for what qualifies as a quilted item.

“Basically, a quilted item means that it has a cover — or, the front of the quilt — it has a backing — the back piece of fabric — and then it has some type of batting in between,” Brainard explained. “And then those three pieces are then stitched or quilted together, and then the edging is finished.”

The project also must be completely finished.

After being accepted into the show, the item is then sorted into a category.

Brainard estimated that there are around a dozen categories in this year's show.

“There's a lot of categories,” Bailey said.

Some of the categories include bed and lap quilts, bags and purses, table toppers, baby quilts, wall hangings, and miniature quilts.

“We do a category called serendipity, which is just kind of a catch-all,” Bailey added.

Guild members also have the opportunity to win awards for their entries, according to Teune and Brainard.

“We have three community judges,” Brainard explained. “So the way the quilt show works is the quilt members actually do voting. So we vote on first and second place ribbons for each division.”

Brainard said that divisions can be separated. For example, she said, the lap quilt division can include categories for quilts created with a movable sewing machine, a stationary machine or a quilt that was done by hand.

After the guild members decide on quilts, the community judges can award ribbons for best of show and judge's choice. For the judge's choice award, judges must choose from the first-place honorees.

This year, Teune has eight pieces entered into the show, Bailey submitted five projects and Brainard entered nine pieces. These projects were not a group effort within the guild, but personal endeavors that the women are hoping win a ribbon.

Teune estimated that there were around 80 members in the group, although not all members of the group entered quilts into the show. She said that at the guild's peak, there might have been more than 100 members.

Now, the existing members of the Rainy Day Quilters Guild do a variety of volunteer work throughout the community, in addition to attending monthly meetings.

Teune explained that past volunteer projects — excluding the ongoing quilts of valor project and the annual show — have included quilting bibs for residents at the Ketchikan Pioneers Home, managing a scholarship for students and creating pillowcases for WISH.

The guild also has created “fidget quilts” for hospital patients.

Several guild members have been quilting for years, and participation levels change over time.

“I think quilting was a lot more popular maybe 10 or 12 years ago,” Teune said. “I just think that things kind of ebb and flow.”

Bailey became interested in quilting after taking a class with her mother.

“I think it's the love of creating,” Bailey said. “I think it's the love of taking the beautiful colors of fabric and just making them into something you can cherish forever.”

Teune got started with quilting after taking a class in which she was taught to quilt a table runner. She had been sewing her entire life.

“I would say it's still pretty popular,” Teune said of the hobby, which she said is how she relieves stress from her job.

Jean Mackie has been a member of the group since its inception.

“It had been my hobby already to sew, and I love that, and so quilting was just kind of another step up,” Mackie explained.

This year, she does not have a quilt in the show. However, she did create one of the quilts of valor that will be presented.

The Rainy Day Quilters Guild welcomes new members, Teune and Bailey said.

“I think that we keep each other inspired in the guild,” Teune said.

“You learn so much from each other,” Bailey said about being in the group. “We share our techniques (and) we share our knowledge.”

“It's just a room full of mentors,” Brainard said, adding that the women are not judgmental of new members or beginning quilters.