Quilt Stroll shows off handiwork
Okotoks: Event offers opportunity to expose hobby
By: Roxanne Blackwell
| Posted: Wednesday, Aug 06, 2014 01:33 pm
There will be more to see than flashy automobiles on Aug. 17 at the Olde Towne Okotoks Show and Shine, as the seventh annual Quilt Stroll will be displaying over 300 quilts throughout the streets at the same time.
“We run it at the same time as Show and Shine so that it can be a family event,” said Linda Freund who owns Rumpled Quilt Skins quilting store. “There is food, quilts for the women to look at, although men like to look at them too, and the cars – it’s pretty much just a strollerderby up and down main street.”
The quilts will be on display inside and outside of businesses along North Railway Street including the Art Gallery, and the Heritage House, as well as outside hung up along railings and fences.
Some quilts will be for sale inside of Okotoks Dental, but for the most part, the Quilt Stroll is just an opportunity for quilters to have their work shown off and appreciated.
“We like our customers to have a chance to share what they made and just by having them in our store doesn't give enough exposure for non quilters to enjoy them,” Freund said. “So we decided if we had a show it would allow everybody who is out on the street to see them, and we like buddying up to the Show and Shine because it makes it more of a family event and because the streets are blocked off we certainly benefit from that as well.”
Each year, Rumpled Quilt Skins designs and creates a new quilt for the show, and this year’s quilt is called “Car Warmer.” The quilt will be on display at the show, and the pattern –which is designed to be a beginner level quilt – will be available for sale at the store. Freund said often quilters will buy that year’s pattern and then have the quilt ready to be displayed in the show the following year. She said the Quilt Stroll helps give quilters in town a date to aim for each year to have their quilts completed.
“Quilters are notorious for not quite finishing, and part of it is it's a lot of work to do the quilting part of it but we like to think that quilt stroll is a bit of a goal to give them that urge to finish more of their quilts to be displayed,” she said.
While anyone can appreciate the beautiful colours and designs of the quilts, Freund said it’s a good opportunity to introduce people to the hobby and recruit new quilters who may be interest in taking it up.
“We are really striving to do something to cater to younger quilters because they are our future and they have a very different outlook than the traditional quilters. We love to have younger quilters be part of our community,” she said. “For that we bring in younger designed fabrics, there are a lot of young American and Canadian designers that are bringing in brighter fabrics, more fun designs, not so serious florals and darker colours that we've had in the past. So we look forward to stocking up with all the new stuff and making it lighter hearted, more fun.”
Freund said she’s sure the quilts will attract a few new hobbyists.
“Our standing joke is … we'll always say ‘if you touch fabric you'll become a quilter, watch out.’ and it happens,” Freund said. “They start to go along the shelves and they touch the fabric and they say ‘oh I think I could do that.’”