Patching together a great weekend

By Jeff Smith

Sophie Fromm, 6, of Rapid City, waits patiently as her patch is hot glued by Hill City Arts Council member Gina Kassube. Children were invited to make a penny patch during the quilt show on Sept. 9-10 last year. The patches were going to be put together to make a big patch display to hang somewhere in town.

A lot of quilters will be displaying their amazing artistry this weekend at Gins’ Gym and on the Main Street of Hill City. 

There are a lot of talented quilters who attend the show. Many are from the area but the event is not limited to just those in Hill City and Keystone. People from various states come to the event too. 

“We’re trying to celebrate quilting as the artform that it is,” said Liz Carlson Jones, organizer of the event with the Hill City Arts Council. 

She said some people think of quilting as a craft but it’s not because there are a lot of people who take it to the next level as an artform. Jones said the event is a chance for quilters to show off what they can do. 

The quilts at the show might inspire other people to try some challenging things as well. 

There are a few things that the Hill City Arts Council started last year that are being continued. One of those things is having a featured artist. Sherryl Alexander is this year’s featured artist. 

Alexander has been quilting since 1995. She was happy to say yes to being the featured aritst. 

She has sewn a lot longer than she has quilted but now just does quilting. Alexander has also gotten her daughter, Stacia, and six grandchildren into quilting. All six of her grandchildren made pillowcases for the quilt show this year. 

Alexander was one of the founding members of the quilt show. She estimates that the quilt show is at least 13 years old.

Some ladies used to come to Keystone for a quilting retreat and asked some Hill Citians if they would want to do a quilt show. At first the quilt show was primarily held outdoors. After seven or eight years it was both an indoor and outdoor show. 

Alexander said she is looking forward to the quilt show.

“It’s fun to see everybody’s projects. Year after year people come back, so it’s nice to visit with people that you haven’t seen in awhile,” she said. 

Alexander will be at the quilt show both days to answer questions and talk about her work. 

There will be all sorts of vendors at the quilt show. 

“Some that are quilting related and everything from hair clips to tote bags and soup and drink mixes (will be there),” Jones said.

Jones said they are excited to have a full vendor mall this year. There are three fabric vendors and many other vendors coming from Colorado and all over South Dakota. 

“It’s a good chance to do some shopping for birthday presents and shop ahead for Christmas,” Jones said. 

Volunteers will do things like take admission at the door, hand and take down the quilts and an assortment of other responsibilties. Jones thinks there will be 80 volunteers helping out at the event. 

Voting for the People’s Choice will take place on Saturday. It’s a time people can look at all the quilts and choose their favorite one. 

This is the second year that the Hill City Arts Council has organized this event. Before that it was Heart of the Hills Quilters Guild that sponsored the show. 

There will be around 220 quilts on display this year. That number could increase as there are usually last minute entries that come in. Sixty-six different quilters have entered the Hill City Quilt Show. Jones thinks that more quilters have entered the show this year. 

In addition to quilts in seven categories from bed quilts to wearable art, the Hill City Quilt Show will feature 16 vendors, several demonstrations and a fabric art project for children. 

A recent addition to the show, the Pillowcase Round-up and Challenge, is a community service-oriented feature where quilters, quilt guilds, sewing groups, 4-H groups and anyone who loves sewing and loves children makes pillowcases to comfort kids. The pillowcases are displayed during the show and then will be donated to organizations serving kids in need.

Admission to the quilt show is $5. Parking in Hill City is free and the show is free for those 18 and under. 

In conjunction with the Quilt Show, Xi Alpha Chi will host an old-fashioned Bed-Turning Show & Supper at 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, in the Hill City Senior Center. Attendees are encouraged to bring a quilt to add to the bed with a story to share. 

Tickets for the bed-turning are $20. Reservations are required, and payment must be made in advance to hold the reservation. If space is available, tickets may be sold at the door. 

A Quilt Block Scavenger Hunt will take place both days of the show. Hunters will visit participating Hill City merchants with their completed card and be eligible to win prizes from the new Hill City Mercantile located at insideout Gallery. Scavenger hunt instructions and a map of participating merchants will be available at the show.

Deb Casey of the Hill City Mercantile has created different quilt blocks for each participating store. Casey said there are 14 businesses that signed up for the event. The participants in the scavenger hunt will find block quilt instructions and they can take the cards with that information for free. 

This also frees up those who work in the stores to not have to sign a slip of paper.

“Hopefully, the stores see a lot of people,” Casey said. 

Casey said last year the event went pretty well. People will be able to do the scavenger hunt on Saturday and Sunday. 

Door prizes from insideout will be given out as part of the event and there are also three prizes from a fabric company. 

The Dakota Artists’ Guild will lead kids in a quilt block applique project 1-3 p.m. on Saturday. Children can come any time during that period to create their quilt block and parents should plan on at least 15 minutes for the process. 

“We’re really encouraging families to come … grandparents to come with their grandkids. The kids come in for free and there are activities for them,” Jones said. 

The Hill City Quilt Show will be held 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 8–9.