Hood River Middle School multi-purpose room has never seen so much color.
The Columbia River Gorge Quilters Guild annual quilt show runs through Saturday in the gym and cafeteria.
This is a new location for the show, which has been held in Stevenson for the past four years.
“We have already seen the effects – our numbers are way up,” said show coordinator Kathleen Roulet of Stevenson. She said it looks like attendance over last year had already doubled on Friday.
Viewers attending the show will be voting on their favorites in five categories: miniature, appliqué, pieced, mixed techniques, and innovative.
“There are some beautiful quilts on display, really high quality. We are very proud of what we have to show here,” said Guild president Elizabeth Garber.
In viewers’ choice voting, the quilts with the most votes in each category are awarded cash prizes. The awards will be posted on Saturday.
More than 100 category quilts are on display, along with a dozen or so known as “challenge quilts”: these are ones assembled by Guild members, who each year are challenged to create quilts using different rules and criteria. This year, they had to include at least one star in the motif, and there was a twist in the fabric selection: instead of choosing their own, this spring they picked out the required squares in a “scramble”: the Guild members had to grab their fabric from a pile, and not everyone ended up with colors and patterns they might have chosen on their own.
“Quilters get used to doing things the same way all the time and this brings them out of what they are used to,” said Linnie Tallman of White Salmon, who organized the Challenge.
A photograph from scramble day accompanies each quilt to prove that the quilter made her quilt using those squares.
Garber and Roulet also credited Vickie Van Koten and Marbe Cook in helping organize the show.
The move to HRMS has given the event more room for vendors and visitors, but there is another added benefit, literally quite visible in the space used for classes and workshops, the HRMS cafeteria.
The large, high windows have proven a delight for the quilters who are learning and creating at their machines.
“Many of the quilters came in and said, ‘Finally, a light-filled room’,” Garber said. “It is really a great room to work in.”
The show is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at Hood River Middle School.
Admission is $6.
Special event: Quilt expert Karla Anderson, 7 p.m. Friday in HRMS auditorium; admission $15.