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JAUNTS: in and around the Valley

Quilts by Association : Two Valley groups will piece together elaborate crafts for CSUN show.

April 30, 1998|IRENE GARCIA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

For the last decade, two associations of quilt makers from the Valley have held small, one-day shows locally to exhibit their work.

This year the two groups--the 175-member Valley Quiltmakers Guild and the 300-member San Fernando Valley Quilt Assn.-- have joined forces to create a large, two-day show at Cal State Northridge this weekend.

More than 100 quilts will be on display in styles including antique, traditional and artistic. Many are elaborate in their detail. Others appear simple although they require many laborious hours to make them look that way.

The public will have a chance to win two of the most intricately made quilts at the show, because both organizations will hold a drawing for their opportunity quilts, which feature the work of each member.

The San Fernando Valley Quilt Assn. entry is colorful and features a combination of traditional wave patterns with a floral border and fabric from the 1930s. It has nearly 1,000 triangles in the center and took about a year to complete.

"It's hard to part with," said Lira Vickers, who helped design the pattern. "Close to 300 people worked on it, and to see it from the early stages on paper is incredible."

The Valley Quiltmakers Guild made an unusually large, 106-inch-square quilt with a huge American flag in the center, surrounded by decorative blocks representing each state. It is bordered in blue arches with a large eagle above the flag. It also took about a year to complete.

You can buy a chance to win either quilt for just $1. Or, if you would rather learn to make your own, you can do that with the help of well-known quilt makers.

Admission to the show is $5, and there will be workshops, demonstrations and lectures on quilting for a separate fee.

Among them is a three-hour workshop on constructing a traditional mariner's compass design by using foundation paper piecing.

Another will teach how to embellish a quilt with stencils, fabric pens and ribbons. Another will show how to create quilts that incorporate charms and one-patch quilts using spare fabric that a nonquilter might consider useless. Those who don't want to spend the extra money on those events will have plenty of quilt-making demonstrations from which to choose. They'll include basics such as how to clean your sewing machine and which type of thread is best for the various styles of quilts.

Members of both sponsoring groups will reveal some of their creative secrets and will be available both days to answer questions.

There will also be a silent auction and boutique with a variety of quilts for sale. And vendors will sell quilting supplies including fabrics and patterns.

"It's like having all the different specialty quilt shops from around California in one place," said Diane Johnson, one of the show's organizers. "It's very convenient because otherwise, you have to hop around the different places and some items are not easy to find."

The walls of Johnson's Calabasas home are decorated with quilts she has made through the years. One features an array of angels in a predominantly blue pattern. Another has a large cross surrounded by a variety of pastels. Both designs feature precise stitching detail that required many long hours of work.

"It can take anywhere from three months to three years to make a quilt," Johnson said. "It just depends on a lot of things."

Among her most precious possessions is a quilt from 1940 that her grandmother made. It has large pink flowers throughout and will be displayed at the show this weekend. Johnson may be willing to share a few tips on how to create a similar one.

BE THERE

Quilting in the Valley from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday at Cal State Northridge, Student Union, 18111 Nordhoff St. Display of more than 100 quilts, workshops, demonstrations plus two drawings and an auction. Admission $5, parking $3. (818) 222-2710.

* Send Jaunts ideas, allowing at least two weeks' notice, to staff writer Irene Garcia at The Times, 20000 Prairie St., Chatsworth 91311. Or send e-mail to Irene.Garcia@latimes.com.

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