Quilts in Living Colour
A burst of light amidst a monochromatic backdrop, a kaleidoscope of colour radiating in hundreds of points, an endless spirograph of brilliant circles intertwined with each other… these are sights to behold at the 23rd annual Festival of Quilts at Heritage Park Historical Village in Calgary. The Festival first launched on a wintry September weekend in 1995 as a way to draw visitors to the park during the fall, and has since grown into Western Canada’s largest outdoor quilt show. Quilters and vendors from all over mark their calendars to attend this annual event each May. It’s the place to see hundreds of quilts displayed throughout Heritage Park over the two day event; Quilts are hung on every fence rail, laundry line and wooden porch. Dozens of creations are draped off of the historical Wainwright Hotel, over vintage vehicles and throughout the historic homes. The quilts are a vibrant addition to the turn of the 20th century buildings and backdrops.
This year’s festival theme is Quilts in Living Colour with two special categories: Black and White plus One quilts, and works inspired by Judy Niemeyer and Jacqueline de Jonge’s distinct quilting style. Beyond the special displays, quilters of all ages and talents are invited to show off their work. The hope for this year is to showcase over 650 quilts!
In addition to the spectacular quilt displays, a big highlight of this festival is the one and two day workshops. This year’s workshop instructor and gala dinner speaker is Australian quilter, Gloria Loughman, renowned for her vivid landscape quilts. Her one day Colour is Magic workshop will appeal to novice quilters and provide an opportunity to experiment with colour and design. Gloria’s two day workshop, Light up Your Landscape will teach students the art of building up a landscape background that is full of light, contrast and drama. Both workshops take place in the days leading up to the festival and registration is ongoing.
The Festival also includes a two day Merchant’s Mall – a one stop shop for notions, patterns and inspiration, and the 2nd annual Iron Quilt Challenge, a fast paced race against the clock of creativity, skill and teamwork with an end goal of creating a small quilt from scratch in just two hours. This year’s event is a must see and do for anyone who appreciates the hard work and creativity that goes into each and every beautiful home-made quilt. Whether you’re submitting a quilt, or just want to enjoy the sights, mark Heritage Park’s Festival of Quilts on your calendar for May 26 and 27th.