The Yuba-Sutter Valley Quilt Guild has put on its annual quilt show in March every year for the last 36 years. This was the 37th year, and it was only almost a quilt show.
Like hundreds of other events nationwide, the quilt show was canceled due to the effort to slow down the spread of the coronavirus. The order to cancel was understandable, but disappointing nonetheless.
It takes a year to plan and execute a good show. From securing a time and location, to months of publicity, to creating the quilts to display, the opportunity quilt to raffle and the windsock to hang.
Vendors are arranged for, people are found to do quilting demonstrations and someone is arranged for to provide lunch for all the visitors. Posters, postcards, and programs are designed, printed and distributed. Amazing raffle baskets are put together by members of the guild, with help from the Sunsweet Gift Shop.
Almost one hundred members volunteer to do jobs throughout the year and during the show. Volunteers run admissions and raffles, demonstrate quilting while working on community service quilts at the show, figure out the layout of the quilts, type up quilt descriptions, set up frames, hang quilts, iron windsocks, decorate tables, take down quilts and frames and transport them back to storage, clean up, and help with judging to mention just a few of the jobs.
It’s the fundraiser that allows the guild to do what they do during the year, both for the community and for the members. They make and give quilts to foster kids, cancer patients, and Alzheimer’s patients, give to fire survivors of many of the California fires and hire other quilters to come and lecture or teach on the art of quilting.
This year, it all happened, except the show itself. About 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, the notice came that the show had to be canceled. No choice.
The windsocks were already ironed and hung in main exhibit hall of the Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds. About 70 quilts were midway through the process of being judged.
The featured quilter, Karen Litvinchuk, was ready to enjoy the honor of displaying 27 quilts for viewers to see and enjoy and had invited friends and family to share the moment.
And then the bad news: No show. But there was also good news.
The two judges and the guild members helping were allowed to finish the judging and view all the beautiful quilts.
They were allowed to have lunch and one last get together before being asked to self quarantine over the weekend. First, second, third place and honorable mention ribbons were awarded.
Quilt number one, the one you would have seen first when you entered the hall, won “Best of Show.” It was designed and quilted by the Karen Litvinchuk, and definitely deserved the honor even if there was no show.
Karen will be back next year as the featured quilter, and there will be yet another year’s worth of quilts by the members.
You won’t want to miss it, March 2021.