January 29, 2023

Animals, portraits, patterns and vibrant colours were only some of the many unique quilt designs on display at the KW Quilt Show this fall.
Hosted by members of the Waterloo County Quilters’ Guild, the biannual show took place on Sept. 27 and 28 at RIM Park in Waterloo.
The guild started in 1984 with 20 members, and has since grown to over 240 members. Its main goal is to preserve the quilting tradition in Waterloo Region, and uses the quilt show as a tool for that.
The show is a major fundraiser for the guild to aid in paying educational expenses. Three years after the guild was founded, the first quilt show took place.
“Our first show was in 1987, and it started in St. Jacob’s at the St. Jacob’s Community Centre.  We have been here (RIM) for 10 years,” said Colleen Robertson, a co-chair of the show.
All of the quilts on display  were submitted by guild members. This year, 163 members registered for the quilt show.
“Some don’t enter, but many others put in five or six quilts,” said Marg Cassel, a co-chair of the KW Quilt Show.
In addition to the quilts on display, there were a number of vendors selling sewing supplies, fabrics, books and other tools.
Other activities included a tea room, silent auction, small quilt draw and demonstrations of sewing machines and hand quilting. There was also a quilt raffled off with all proceeds going to a charity called Parents for Community Living, which provides homes and support for developmentally challenged individuals.
Everyone working at the show was a volunteer from the guild.
“The quilt show represents what the members are able to do,” Robertson said.
Judy Pearce, the co-president of the KW Guild, had a number of her quilts on display at the show. Pearce used to be a portrait drawer, but became interested in quilting about four years ago when she switched to fabrics. Many quilts that she now makes are portraits of people.
“I start with a photograph. I blow it up and just draw it in a little puzzle. I start putting all the pieces together. It is really fun,” she said.
Pearce makes about five quilts per year, for family or as gifts. Some are auctioned and donated to charities.
The Waterloo County Quilters’ Guild meets on the third Wednesday of every month, excluding the summer and December, at the Albert McCormick Community Centre in Waterloo.
“We have workshops and we have speakers at our meetings,” Robertson said. “We have a number of professional teachers in our guild as well. We are very fortunate.”
There are two meeting times, one at 1:30 p.m. and one at 7:30 p.m.
“People are welcome to come and see what we do,” Cassel said.
To attend as a guest it costs $7.