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Quilt Collage photo by Joanne Guidoccio


At the Quilt Show

It was one of those spur-of-the-moment ideas that seemingly came out of nowhere. But thinking back, I do recall hearing about the “Quilts on the Grand Show” for several weeks before the actual event. The advertisements appeared in local papers, and several establishments—including the library branches—proudly displayed the work of these talented artisans.

When I found myself with several free hours on that Saturday afternoon in early June, I headed up to Fergus, a short thirty-minute drive away. Having never quilted, I didn’t anticipate spending too much at the show and planned on visiting other shops in the area.

Pulling up into the parking lot of the Centre Wellington Sportsplex, I had to circle twice before finding an empty spot. When I entered the building, I found the foyer bustling with activity. Later, I learned that some attendees had traveled 300 miles to see this show.

As I walked around the auditorium, I felt dwarfed by the bed-sized quilts, wall hangings and other pieces that made up the 160 items on display. And I was in awe of the extraordinary workmanship displayed by the 140 artisans, one of whom was a ten-year-old junior member!

I stayed for the entire afternoon and circled the room several times, stopping to admire and take pictures of my favorite quilts. I also chatted with several artisans who shared their techniques. As I listened, I discovered many similarities between quilting and writing.

  • Like the three-act story, there is a definite three-step process to quilting: beginning (preparing and cutting the fabric), middle (piecing, batting and binding), and end (quilting it all together).
  • A quilt is made one piece at a time, just as a story is written one page at a time.
  • While many quilts have established patterns (Log Cabin, Wedding Ring, Lone Star), some are combinations of patterns or original designs. The same applies to stories. Some authors prefer to write in one specific genre (romance, mystery, fantasy) while others (myself included) prefer to cross several genres.
  • Quilters play with color, texture and composition in the same way that writers play with setting, characters and plot.
  • Quilters can be nitpickers, ripping seams apart and starting over. Hmm…
  • Creating a quilt is a time-intensive project and artisans get little recognition until they sell or win awards. Sound familiar?


Guidoccio 001About the Author:

In 2008, Joanne took advantage of early retirement and decided to launch a second career that would tap into her creative side and utilize her well-honed organizational skills. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes paranormal romance, cozy mysteries, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.

Visit Joanne at her website