Chilliwack's Sandra Lounsbury is one of two featured quilters in upcoming show PieceMaking in the Valley on Oct. 19 and 20.

Chilliwack's Sandra Lounsbury is one of two featured quilters in upcoming show PieceMaking in the Valley on Oct. 19 and 20.

A passion for quilting persists in Chilliwack

The Quilt Show: PieceMaking in the Valley, is Oct. 19-20 at the Chilliwack Alliance Church.

Sandra Lounsbury has an absolute passion for quilting.

Appliqué quilts. Log cabin quilts. Whole cloth quilts. Art quilts.

Lounsbury loves them all.

In fact she has 32 pieces ready to be showcased in The Quilt Show: PieceMaking in the Valley, Oct. 19-20 at the Chilliwack Alliance Church.

And that’s just a small sample of her considerable and most beloved quilt collection.

“It’s a passion,” she says simply. “I just love stitching.”

The featured quilter has taken many quilting courses, but is basically self-taught.

She’s been quietly at it for years, decades even, and she’s been in guild shows before.

But nothing like this.

“I’ve never had a large-scale exhibit like this,” Lounsbury says. “I usually only show one quilt.”

She and another member of the Chilliwack PieceMakers Quilting Guild, Enid Kulesh, will be in the spotlight as feature for the 2012 Quilt Show, with many illustrative examples of the various types of quilts.

“There will be many wonderful quilts to see in the show. We have so much talent in the guild.”

They’re expecting more than 200 pieces to be on display.

Something the casual observer might not realize is the incredible painstaking nature of quilting.

“The biggie is the amount of time that goes into each piece. It’s tremendous,” she says. “But I have a very understanding man. So if I want to sew, it’s quite all right.”

She works away at the art of traditional quilting out a large studio in her basement, with a walk-in closet full of quilts that take everyone’s breath away.

Like any serious quilter, she has stashes of fabric, thread, trim, and lace. And the books on the art of quilting could fill a library.

But her glorious quilts are not for sale. They’re just for sharing.

Lounsbury’s specialty is hand quilting. Although she is now starting to do some of the piecing and quilting by machine.

“This old girl has changed her tune.”

She calls herself a hand quilter, and doesn’t really see herself as an art quilter.

“I’m just dabbling in art. My focus is mostly traditional quilts.”

She figures she’s come “a long way” since high school when she dropped out of home economics class to take Latin instead.

“But I married a man whose mother was a dressmaker. She taught me dressmaking and I taught her how to quilt.”

One of her hand quilted offerings in the show, a “whole cloth” example in a rich cream colour, won a ribbon from the Canadian Quilting Association two years ago.

“It shows the hand-quilting stitches.”

So with two different quilting guilds in Chilliwack, with more than 80 members apiece, it’s clearly not a lost art in this part of the Fraser Valley.

“No, it’s still thriving here.

“In the early 1980s, I almost bought a quilt shop. But I was told it was a dying art. But it wasn’t. It really has blossomed all over.”

The Quilt Show: PieceMaking in the Valley, Oct. 19 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Oct. 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Chilliwack Alliance Church, 8700 Young Rd.

Chilliwack, with 200+ quilts, a merchants’ mall, tea room, demonstrations and raffles.