Some of the region's finest quilters will display their works Jan. 19-20 at Modesto Centre Plaza for the Heart of the Valley Quilt and Textile Arts Show.
The show, organized by the Country Crossroads Quilters every other year, will feature more than 200 quilts, wearable quilts, quilting demonstrations and vendors selling sewing supplies.
Featured quilters are award winners Kay Hawkins, 81, of Modesto, and Sue Schlange, 66, of Farmington. They were chosen by the membership of the Country Crossroads Quilters for their expertise. Exhibits on display include "Doors of Modesto" (quilts with doors from Modesto homes) and "Color Wheel Challenge" (quilts in every spectrum of color).
Those who attend will see a wide variety of quilting styles, said show chair Ursula Sylvan. "They're going to hopefully be knocked over by color."
Hawkins will display 27 of her quilts. She started quilting 40 years ago after she wandered into a quilt shop in Walnut Creek and was inspired by what she saw. A longtime seamstress, who made clothes for herself and her children as a stay-at-home mom, she jumped in and made her first quilt.
"I taught myself," she said, "and taught myself many bad habits."
Later she learned better techniques from other quilters. She likes making wearable quilts, such as coats, miniature quilts and quilts with landscapes. She also enjoys using the soft-edge applique technique.
When asked to describe her style, she said "I'm eclectic a little bit of this and a little bit of that."
Because she has arthritis in her hands, she does most of her work on sewing machines. She gives many of the quilts away. "I've saturated my family with them," she said with a laugh.
Schlange expects to display 15 quilts. Hers tend to be larger than Hawkins' creations. Schlange's biggest work is a quilt fit for a king-size bed.
She learned to sew as a child, working with a needle and thread and doing embroidery under her grandmother's tutelage. When she was about 10 or 11, she decided to learn how to use the sewing machine. While her mother was at work, she read the manual and got to work. Her mother never knew what she was doing until one day she broke the needle and had to confess.
Schlange, who also spent much of her life as a stay-at-home mom, made her first quilt in 1968, teaching herself as Hawkins did. Years later, she took classes and expanded her skills.
She likes working on several projects at once.
"I have this ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) thing and I can't work at one thing for too long," she said. She also hates repeating patterns. "I go nuts having to do the same thing over and over."
But she loves experimenting with new patterns and adding her own twists and colors.
"I am totally fulfilled and satisfied working with fabric," Schlange said. She said she also enjoys the quilting community and exchanging ideas with other quilters.
"We come from so many backgrounds, likes and dislikes."
WHAT: Heart of the Valley Quilt and Textile Arts Show
WHEN: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Jan. 19 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Jan. 20
WHERE: Modesto Centre Plaza, 10th and K streets
TICKETS: $7 adults, free 12 and under
CALL: (209) 883-1912