Creative expression bonds northwest suburban quilters
Joyce Drenth, of Schaumburg, browses books about quilting Jan. 17 at a quilting show sponsored by the Northwest Suburban Quilters Guild and held at Concorde Banquets in Kildeer. | Dave Shields~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 1, 2013 6:12AM
KILDEER — The Northwest Suburban Quilters Guild celebrated quilting as a means of creative expression Jan. 17 during a seminar led by renowned quilter Coleen Walter at Concorde Banquets in Kildeer.
“Quilts express life,” Walter said. “What I was showing were quilts that meant something to me.”
Walter, who exhibited about 65 quilts at the meeting, said she made most of those quilts herself.
“There’s lots of different reasons why people quilt,” said Walter, explaining that quilts can be celebratory, like a quilt for a new baby, or they can be made in honor and remembrance of a loved one who has passed away.
Members of the guild talked amongst themselves about their craft before Walter’s presentation.
“Quilting is a reflection of who we are,” said Jayne Borgelt, publicity coordinator for the guild. “When we give someone a quilt, we are giving them a gift from our heart and a piece of history recorded in fabric.”
Helene Detzner is one of the founding members of the guild.
“My grandmother was a seamstress and I learned to sew when I was ten,” she said.
Detzner, who has been a guild member for 29 years, said she makes between 200 and 300 quilts a year for a hospice in Park Ridge.
Nancy Blanchard, past president of the guild, talked about the list of charities that the guild supports, including Project Linus and the Aflac Cancer Center for children with cancer, as well as numerous local hospitals. Blanchard said she coordinated many projects while serving as guild president.
Blanchard said guild members include lawyers, teachers and engineers, among other professions.
“They’re from all walks of life,” she said.
Borgelt said vendors usually come to the guild meetings. Thursday night’s vendor was Material Girl, a fabric shop in Crystal Lake.
“I’ve been sewing since I was twelve,” said Susie Fox, owner of Material Girl. Fox said she enjoys coming to events like the guild meeting.
“It’s great because we learn what all the quilters are doing,” she said. “It’s fun.”
Borgelt said most of the quilters use quilter’s cotton, which has a high thread count and is designed so it will not fade or shrink. In addition to quilter’s cotton, some quilters use materials like silk, beads and denim.
“It all depends on what you want in your quilt,” said Jane Underys, who said she just finished making a quilt from T-shirts.
“I made a quilt that sings,” said Sharron Evans of Bartlett, explaining that she inserted a sound device, much like those found in some greeting cards, into the quilt so it can play music.
“I just enjoy quilting. I like to be creative. It’s a way to express myself.”
Borgelt said the guild has regular meetings with speakers and quilt showings. Guests can attend, she said, for a fee of $7. For information on upcoming guild events, go to www.nsqg.net.