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Kitsap Quilters living in a material world

POULSBO — Like paintings at an art gallery, texture and colors in cloth were on display at Poulsbo Junior High. From Elvis to cats, these masterpieces, however, can be thrown over your shoulders or keep you warm while you sleep.

Just more than 200 quilts were part of the Kitsap Quilter’s quilt show last weekend. Thousands visited the kaleidoscope of fabric to gather an eyeful of beauty and inspiration.

As part of the 18th annual show guild members offered advice and demonstrations. They also shared why cloth, needle and thread have become such a passion.

“It’s kind of like an addiction,” said Inez Bird, a guild member. Her hands sewed as she talked. The project in front of her, bound by a hoop, was her mini group’s quilt, one with houses, tree and lots of plaid. This piece, she said, has the working title of “It Takes a Group to Make a Village.”

Quilting taps into her creativity she said.

“Sewing clothes is not an art. It’s like home ec,” she said.

Bird started quilting about 40 years ago. She began by “cutting up a perfectly good dress into squares,” and her first try probably ended up in the garbage can. But it started a love for an art form she shares with many others.

The Kitsap Quilters Guild has 260 members and meets once a month. The guild and quilting also threads families together.

“It’s in the blood,” said Lauri Jorgensen whose mother, grandmother and daughter are in the Kitsap Quilters.

Guild member Carie Sue Nesvog said for her quilting is therapeutic, while Jetty Morton isn’t as specific.

“Oh everything. The creativity, the color, and the technique,” she said.

She, the featured artist, sat in a corner of the show surrounded by her work and inspirations.

“Each one started out with an embryo of an idea,” she said.

One quilt has different colored tennis shoes dancing across it — a gift for a loved one.

“My granddaughter is always on the go,” she said.

Morton, the former owner of Heirloom Quilts, began quilting in 1981 after she opened the business.

Proceeds raised from the show go toward guest lecturers and quilting education for guild members said Judy Stephenson, chairwoman for the event.

“The people who quilt are awesome,” she said.

Winners of the show will be announced at the Feb. 26 Kitsap Quilters meeting at St. Charles Episcopal Church in Poulsbo.

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