‘No Hour Lost’
WESTFIELD – Westfield Academy and Central School hosted the biennial Westfield Quilters’ Guild Show over the weekend, marking the 10th edition of the event..
Strolling through the gymnasium, where scores of quilts were hoisted on frames of PVC piping, one could admire a myriad of patterns and colors among the hanging quilts, ranging from traditional, artful, paper-piercing, applique, scrapping, and even Civil War-themed quilts. While most of the quilts were not for sale, there were vendors from other quilt shops in Jamestown, Olean, Erie, Pa., and Meadville, Pa. Quilt appraisal was also available.
The quilters’ guild was organized in 1993 with 35 members in attendance. It is a highly active guild, with 100 members from across Chautauqua County, as well as neighboring counties in New York and Pennsylvania. Its members participate in many programs, including retreats, classes and listening to speakers.
The guild contributes what it calls “Comfort Quilts” to various local charities, service agencies, medical facilities and nursing homes. The quilters either make these quilts independently or together in workshops. Last year the guild donated to eight organizations.
Pam Farnham, the first vice president of the Westfield Quilters’ Guild, has been a member for eight years. She joined when she enrolled in a quilting class taught by an international teacher. At her first meeting, there was a group of 40 quilters industriously crafting for the community.
“It was a fascinating, positive and uplifting group, and so that’s why I joined,” she said.
A quilt, Farnham explained, is very different from a blanket. A quilt has a top, a batting (the cotton stuffing in the middle) and a backing.
“It’s like a sandwich – a Fluffernutter sandwich,” she said.
Farnham is proud of the range of styles and skill levels present in the guild.
“We like to demonstrate our variety, to show everything we’re working on. It’s a good representation,” she said.
As for herself, she said she tends to start a project and then flies by the seat of her pants, creating the tapestry as the spirit of the muse possesses her.
“This guild stands out from other shows. It brings the greatest varieties of quilters, and quite a few who are at mastery level,” she added.
President Dianne Stanton has been a member for 12 years.
“It’s a great guild. I love the people here, and we’re always looking for new members,” she stressed.
Gloria Colgrove, another member, has quilted for 30 years. She began to sew when she was 20 and found the craft enjoyable and rewarding. She is attracted to shades of purple and indigo, evident in much of her work. Her piece “Kinabalu,” which she spent over $800 crafting, won third place for piercing.
The Quilters Guild meets on the third Thursday of each month (except December) at the United Methodist Church of Westfield located at 101 E. Main St., Westfield at 7 p.m. The guild is open to beginners and experts.