PLAINFIELD – Woven into the fabric of Pride of the Prairie Quilters is longevity, support, friendship and outreach.
The 30-year-old guild has 155 members from the Joliet and Plainfield areas, said president Lana Stafford of Minooka, all of whom share a deep love for quilting and outreach.
“That’s been our philosophy from the beginning,” said Jan Mueller of Joliet, guild publicity chairwoman. “It feels good to give back, to donate.”
Pride of the Prairie Quilters will hold “A Twist on Tradition” quilt show March 12 and 13 at Richland School District 88A in Crest Hill.
Features include demonstrations, vendors, raffles, a bake sale and an exhibit of more than 350 quilts. The finished quilts show the variety of techniques that members use. Stafford, for example, adds embroidery to some of her quilts, for practical as well as aesthetic reasons.
“I can’t sew and watch TV,” Stafford said, “but I can do handwork and watch TV.”
None of the exhibited quilts will be for sale, Mueller said, but that’s OK.
“It’s pretty to look at,” said Mueller, a lifelong seamstress and longtime guild member. “Even people who don’t quilt still like to look at them.”
Cheryl Parker of Aurora, who began quilting in 2001 and joined the guild six years ago, is working on a Quilt of Valor for the troops in honor of both her grandfathers who served in World War II.
Parker gains plenty of inspiration from other members, especially at sew-ins, which are held twice a month on Saturdays. “There’s always new patterns, new colors and new ways to do things,” Parker said.
Christine Williams of North Aurora, a 12-year member, said she has learned techniques such as paper piecing and appliques at guild events. Williams’ penchant is for scraps and 1800s reproduction quilts.
“I love the colors, the fabrics, the styles,” Williams said. “They just speak to me.”
Cathy Lucas of Plainfield said she joined the guild in September 2001. Already a quilter, Lucas said she had just moved to the area and felt isolated, so she simply showed up to a guild meeting.
“The president at the time took me under her wing, and I never looked back,” Lucas said.
The members are women, but the guild is open to male quilters, too.
“We had one man,” Stafford said, “but he’s not a member anymore.”
IF YOU GO
WHAT: “Twist on Tradition,” a quilt show presented by Pride of the Prairie Quilters
WHEN: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 12 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 13
WHERE: Richland School District 88A, 1919 Caton Farm Road, Crest Hill
ETC: More than 300 quilts, silent auction, vendors, demonstrations, raffle baskets, bake sale, strip search fabric sale, used books and magazines. Quilt appraisals by appointment. Call Harriet at 630-428-1576 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Quilt raffle winner will be drawn at the April 21 general meeting.
COST: $6; children under 12 free
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: Pride of the Prairie Quilters monthly meeting
WHEN: 7 p.m. third Thursday of the month
WHERE: Zion Lutheran Church, Book Road and 111th Street, Naperville
ETC: A program or guest speaker follows a short business meeting. Guests may attend any program for a small fee. The group also offers two Saturday sew-ins each month.
Pride of the Prairie Quilters members believe in philanthropy. Some recent projects include:
• Binky Patrol – 11 quilts
• Camp Hope – 20 quilts, nine pillowcases
• ConKerr Cancer – 10 pillowcases
• DuPage Pads – 27 quilts, three pillowcases
• Lamb’s Fold Center – 17 quilts, eight pillowcases
• Mutual Ground – 40 quilts, 35 pillowcases, four pillows,
• Operation Care Package – 40 helmet liners, 30 cool ties
• Project Linus – seven quilts, one pillowcase
• Plainfield Fire Protection District – six pillows, two quilts
• The Troops – 132 Christmas stockings