Ready to Quilt at Tri-Rivers?

A local quilting guild is set to provide demonstrations during the 2022 Tri-Rivers Fair.

“When I first started quilting, I thought ‘That’s what my grandma does,’” Carol Keeler said. “I have found that they have contemporary fabric and contemporary patterns, and that is what interests most quilters.”

Keeler, a member of the Silver Needles Quilting Guild, invites community members to view demonstrations and participate in a design build during the 2022 Tri-Rivers Fair. Silver Needles Quilting Guild members will be on site from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4 and Friday, Aug. 5 in Kenwood Hall, during the Tri-Rivers Fair.

“Members of the Silver Needles Quilting Guild will bring things and work as they go, and answer questions,” Keeler said. “It think it will be fun to sit and watch what they do.”

According to Keeler, a participatory project will extend throughout the two days of demonstrations during the Tri-Rivers Fair.

“What we are going to do is have a design wall,” Keeler said. “A piece of flannel will be placed on the board, so participants can put pieces on the board and arrange them.”

The design will follow the pattern parameters of the Drunkard’s Path pattern.

“If you try to make one, you’ll know why they call it Drunkard’s Path,” Keeler said. “If you put all four pieces together, you have a square and a circle in the center.”

Demonstrations are scheduled with hand work demonstrations from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4; hand quilting demonstrations from 3-7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4 and how to use different types of rulers from 3-7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4.

On Friday, Aug. 5, the demonstrations swap times of the day, with hand quilting in the morning from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and hand work in the afternoon from 3-7 p.m.

“Hand quilting is quilting the entire quilt by hand, using small stitches,” Keeler said. “If a quilter is taking their quilt to a professional and having it quilted by a machine, this will be a demonstration of doing it by hand.”

According to Keeler, hand work includes quilting skills like binding and appliqué.

The Silver Needles Quilting Guild is also wanting to engage fair goers by hiding quilted hearts around the fair ground for people to find.

“There’s a really cool thing that we put on each quilted heart, I Found a Quilted Heart #ifaqh,” Keeler said. “It’s all over the world that they are doing this hashtag. Hopefully, people will enjoy going to that hashtag and learning a little something about it.”

Keeler has made several of the quilted hearts herself, which she also hopes to give away to kids who attend the Silver Needles Quilting Guild presentations, as well as, other interested attendees.

“I’d like to pass them out to people who are interested in the quilt guild, and those that spend some time with us during the fair,” Keeler said. “We’d like two give them a gift for their time and interest.”

A chance to learn

The Silver Needles Quilting Guild has existed for 42 years, according to Keeler.

“It was just a group of women that really enjoyed quilting, being together and sharing their talents,” Keeler said.

The group meets twice a month. On the third Monday of each month, the Silver Needles Quilting Guild meets for a meeting, which includes reports, a show and share time where members can share sewing projects they have been working on and a program. The group meets for refreshments at 6:30 p.m., starting their meeting at 7 p.m. at Redeemer Lutheran Church.

“The programs can be quite interesting,” Keeler said. “The last one was things you can get at a hardware store to help with quilting.”

Three days later, on the third Thursday of each month, the group meets again for a sew day at Redeemer Lutheran Church. The church is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and members can come and go as they please, and stay as long as they want.

“There’s so much talent and so much help for each of us to learn more things,” Keeler said.

The group sometimes using their sewing time to work on community service projects. According to Keeler, in 2022 the Silver Needles Quilting Guild has donated quilts to the Martin Luther King, Jr. daycare, Reflections Retirement Resort, The Pregnancy Center, Tammy Walker Cancer Center and the pediatric unit and nursery at Salina Regional Health Center.

“For cancer patients at Tammy Walker we make ‘Quilts with a Hug,’” Keeler said. “It’s a shawl they can wrap around them while they are having their chemo.”

In addition, the Silver Needles Quilting Guild has donated 122 quilted hearts to Presbyterian Manor for the Hearts of Hope project, and 250 placements to Meals on Wheels.

A community outreach program allowed the Silver Needles Quilting Guild to donate funds to Saline County 4-H and the Peacemakers. The funds are made during a fundraiser, this year scheduled for October 14 and 15 at Redeemer Lutheran, which includes a quilt show, auction and a luncheon.

Literature about the Silver Needles Quilting Guild, as well as a coloring sheet for children visiting the presentations during the Tri-Rivers Fair, will be available for demonstration attendees.

“Since March, we have had a lot of younger quilters joining,” Keeler said. “It’s very encouraging. “We noticed there were some young people last year with entries at the Tri-Rivers Fair, and we want to encourage them and keep them quilting.”