Quilting: not just for ‘little old ladies’


WSU design students submitted their own quilts into this year’s Palouse Patchers Quilt Show.

Quilting is commonly thought of as something Grandma does to keep her feet warm on those cold winter nights. The craft is almost always considered as a way to pass the time after retiring.

Palouse Patchers, a quilting group based in Moscow, has aimed to show how artful of a skill quilting is for over 35 years by holding annual quilt shows, with one coming up this weekend. Celia Boland, co-chair of the 2017 quilt show alongside Debbie Goetz, has been a part of the quilt show since 1982.

“I really like the Quilt Show because I like to see others’ work from the past year,” Boland said.

Each quilt show centers on a different theme and several challenges that those who enter can compete in. This year, the theme is titled “Blue Bayou,” based off the blue-toned raffle quilt.

This year’s Quilt Show Chairs Challenge is  titled “Picture the Palouse,” in which artists are tasked to represent what the Palouse means to them. The Mod Squard Challenge requires quilters to represent another artist’s work, such as from a photograph or painting, and give credit to that artist.

The final challenge is a memorial to the late Janet Freitag, a former Palouse Patcher who lost a long battle against cancer. This challenge is open only to Palouse Patchers members and the theme is “What’s Old is New Again.”

Aside from the quilts on display, 13 vendors will be at the event as well, selling different types of fabric, machines and anything else used for quilting.

Boland thinks the quilt show is important because it offers a deadline as well as a safe space to show off one’s work.

“This show provides a deadline to shoot for and inspiration to finish the quilt you’re working on,” Boland said. “While there are prizes and people’s choice awards, this show is generally a way to show your work without having to worry about being judged.”

A few WSU design students were given the opportunity to work with the Palouse Patchers in preparation for the quilt show. These students pieced together fabric to start a quilt while others learned how to use the machines for quilting.

“Quilting is a very meditative process,” Boland said. “If you’re stressed about something like school, it’s nice to focus on something just for yourself. And, in the end, you have something really cool to show for it.”

The Palouse Patchers’ 37th annual Quilt Show will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday at the Latah County Fairgrounds in Moscow. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children and seniors.

“Quilting could be for anyone, and we’d love for more college students to come to the shows,” Boland said. “We’re not just a bunch of little old ladies making little old quilts.”