MATTOON -- More than 40 quilts and related items will be displayed during the Mattoon Arts Council's annual Quilt Show on Saturday and Sunday at the train depot.
Arts Council Coordinator Julia Degler Whitmore said the show in the depot's Lone Elm Room will once again focus on quilts, pillow cases, table runners, wall hangings and other quilted items that the exhibitors have created in recent years.
"We try to encourage people to create something new," Whitmore said. She added that the Arts Council announces each year's show theme more than a year in advance to give quilters time to incorporate this theme into their works if they want.
Many of the quilts that were hung in the Lone Elm Room during the show setup work Thursday morning included birds, flowers, Christmas trees and other designs that incorporated this year's "Reflections of Nature" theme.
Quilter Dawn O'Brien, who is part of the Prairie Stitchers group that organizes the show, is exhibiting a cat themed quilt that she pieced and quilted in 2018. The quilt's focal point cat, "Eleanor," is comprised of material with a flower design and is sporting stylish glasses. O'Brien said she appreciates having extra notice ahead of time about the show's theme.
"Then you can start planning your quilt in your mind. You find your patterns and pick your colors," O'Brien said.
Prairie Stitcher Nancy Swinford said her granddaughter, Kristen Metzger Miller of Washington, Ill., is exhibiting a colorful "Mod Blocks" quilt that she created after they took part in the Arts Council's bus trip last fall to the Missouri Star Quilting Co. in Hamilton, Mo.
Swinford said her granddaughter bought the pattern at Missouri Star and used extra big pieces of material to create her quilt. Swinford said she gave her granddaughter a sewing machine when she turned 20 and is proud to see her carrying on the family quilting tradition.
"I just think it's so pretty," Swinford said of her granddaughter's "Mod Blocks" quilt.
The Quilt Show will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday in the depot, 1718 Broadway Ave. Visitors will be invited to vote on a People’s Choice Award that will be announced Sunday afternoon. There will be no charge for admission, but donations will be accepted for Arts Council quilt programs.
Upcoming events include a "Tiny Houses Quilt Workshop" on Feb. 9 in the Lone Elm Room, the annual quilt show during the East Central Illinois Antique Farm Equipment Club's show on March 8-10 at the Cross County Mall, and nationally known crochet artist Gina Rose Gallina's "Crochet Fair & Jam" on March 16 in the Lone Elm Room.
More information is available by contacting the Mattoon Arts & Tourism Office at 217-258-6286 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.