Quilting event at La Hacienda Recreation Center not limited to only women

There is a saying in the quilting community that each quilt is like wrapping up in a hug. Glorious hugs of all shapes and sizes adorn the booths this weekend at the 2016 Quilter’s Marketplace at La Hacienda Recreation Center.

The event kicked off Friday and continues from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Plenty of browsing Friday at La Hacienda Recreation Center.
Plenty of browsing Friday at La Hacienda Recreation Center.

Preconceived notions about quilting could just as easily be reinforced or turned completely upside down while viewing the items on display. From traditional to modern, from patchwork to paper-pieced, the exciting diversity of contemporary quilting is delightfully obvious throughout the show.

Vendors have come from as far away as Oregon to share their knowledge and the gorgeous results of their hard work and discipline. One of the highlights of the show is being able to speak with these accomplished quilters about their craft, sharing their love of their work and talking about their motivation and techniques.

Quilter June Colburn of Largo.
Quilter June Colburn of Largo.

Quilter June Colburn of Largo displayed an unusual cultural twist with her designs, blending traditional quilting techniques with unexpected elements of chinoiserie. Colburn started quilting in college. Later years spent teaching in Japan led to the lush, eclectic works on display in her booth this weekend. In addition to quilted blankets, she also crafts kimonos, handbags, and accessories mixing various levels of quilted elements in their composition.

Among the predominantly female attendees and vendors, there were even a few male quilters to be found. Brian Jordan of Spanish Fort, Ala. and Dylan Schwalier of Pensacola were enthusiastically introducing guests to their high-tech, ergonomic quilting table with built-in measuring features and the ability to adjust height and slope for quilter comfort.

Travis Morris, Dylan Schwalier, & Brian Jordan of Martelli Cutting Systems, Pensacola
Travis Morris, Dylan Schwalier, and Brian Jordan of Martelli Cutting Systems of Pensacola.

Like other vendors conducting demonstrations of new quilting techniques and materials throughout the show, these men knew their product well because they use it themselves. Jordan married a quilter and has been quilting for a number of years, while Schwalier is working on his very first piece.

Gift basket drawings to benefit The Villages and Fruitland Park elementary schools.
Gift basket drawings to benefit The Villages and Fruitland Park elementary schools.

Gift baskets created by the Guild will be available for raffle with proceeds donated to Fruitland Park and The Villages’ elementary schools.

The event is open to the public with plenty of free parking. Bus groups are welcome and concessions will be available with food and drink. Admission to the show is $10, a fair price to pay to enjoy these masterpieces and their makers.