A ‘Camaraderie of Creativity’
Gig Harbor Quilters present annual Quilt Show By Jillian Chandler
The Gig Harbor Quilters originated with a group of women who would gather regularly at the local library to do hand-work and chat. Today, the organization has more than 100 quilters—and you don’t have to be a woman. There is one man, whose wife is also a member of the guild, and as Marylin Colyar, publicity chairman, shares, “He does beautiful work!”
The purpose of the Gig Harbor Quilters, according to its bylaws, “shall be the dedication to, and the preservation and promotion of the art of quilt-making; and to provide a source of inspiration and fellowship for quilt enthusiasts.”
Membership is open to anyone who loves quilting! The guild meets monthly at the Gig Harbor Yacht Club on the first Wednesday of the month. “Each meeting includes a short business meeting and a program, which usually includes a speaker, an expert quilter who often brings a ‘trunk show’ of her work. The meeting concludes with ‘Show and Tell,’ where members show their recent creations,” says Marilyn. She adds that some members choose to join the “lunch bunch” for lunch at a local restaurant prior to the afternoon meeting.
“The most enjoyable part about being a member of Gig Harbor Quilters is what I call the ‘camaraderie of creativity,’ learning new techniques, sharing ideas, seeing what other quilters are doing. And besides that, it is my experience that quilters are genuinely kind and nice people, and the quilting community is indeed a community! People who enjoy quilting—and each other,” smiles Marilyn.
The Gig Harbor Quilters Guild will be presenting their “Quilts Ahoy” Quilt Show, the theme echoing the maritime history and environment of Gig Harbor. The show will be held at Pioneer School in Gig Harbor (the former Boys & Girls Club) at 8502 Skansie Avenue over two days: Saturday, October 15, 10am to 5pm, and Sunday, October 16, 10am to 4pm.
“It’s been two years since our last quilt show, and our quilters are excited to show the world how they spent these two years in their quilt studios—in addition to making hundreds of masks!” says Marilyn.
One of the unique features of the show is the boutique, which features handmade items to include more than just quilts. You will find placemats and table mats, pin cushions and bags—all which make for wonderful gifts, for yourself or someone else.
They have added a new feature to the show this year—a featured artist, who is selected by the Quilt Show committee. This year’s featured artist is Cathy Stone, current president of the Gig Harbor Quilters. “She is an award-winning artist, and her original creations are amazing—from improvisational experiments with color and shape to fabric collage,” shares Marilyn. “She is an inspiring, gifted artist.”
Marilyn encourages the community to attend this year’s Quilt Show to experience the inspiring handiwork of the people in the local community. “The Quilt Show will be an adventure for the eyes and an opportunity to see the work of some of the community’s most creative people.”
The Gig Harbor Quilters contribute much to the local scene, according to Marilyn, as Guild members are expected to contribute their sewing skills to benefit others. One group of quilters has been making quilts for cancer survivors since 2002, creating more than 2,200 quilts during those years. Another group makes quilts for foster kids, while yet another concentrates on making preemie blankets for the NICU at Mary Bridge Hospital. During Covid, several guild members made hundreds of masks that were shipped all around the country. Quilts have also been sewn for wildfire victims and sent where they were needed.