For the first time since the start of the pandemic, the Chaska Area Quilt Club will be hosting its biennial quilt show on Sept. 23 and 24 at the Chaska Community Center.

The Fall Splendor of Quilts Show will feature hundreds of quilts, a notable quilting speaker, 11 vendors, a small quilt auction, a raffle quilt and a bed turning of holiday themed quilts.

“There’s a bed turning, which is where people submit quilts with a little story on how they acquired it, how they made it, where it came from, or what meaning it has,” said Sandy Cooper, a co-chair and member of the Chaska Area Quilt Club. “This year it’s focusing on holiday themed quilts, but in the past we’ve had antique quilts and different things.”

Attendees of the show will be able to vote for their favorite 36x36 or 18x36 sized quilts that are a part of the color challenge — quilts that are made with the goal of showcasing “color and how that impacts you” — at the show. The winner will receive a ribbon and bragging rights.

Cooper actually got her start in quilting after visiting an annual Minnesota Quilters Quilt Show after thinking, “I need to learn how to do this. This is beautiful.”

“People get bit by the bug, and, even if not, the show is just a chance to see really beautiful works of art that are made from fabric,” Cooper said.

For the educational aspect of the event, the club tries to bring in speakers from around the United States. This year’s speaker, Becky Goldsmith, is flying from Texas to share her quilting expertise. Goldsmith has written around 40 books on quilting and has a large online presence teaching classes. 

The variety of quilts featured at the show can take as little as a few evenings or as many two years to make — depending on the complexity, the materials used and whether or not they are hand sewn.

For those unable to attend the quilt show, the Chaska Community Center Art Gallery is featuring a small array of quilts from now through Sept. 24 for the public to admire during operational hours.

“The Chaska Community Center and city have been very generous in supporting this quilt show,” Cooper said.

THE CLUB

Throughout the rest of the year, the over 115 members of the Chaska Area Quilt Club stay busy with their regular meetings and by making comfort quilts. These blankets are specifically made to be given to women’s charities, shelters for those experiencing homelessness and the sheriff’s office for families and/or children in distress.

“Last year we gave away just under 200; I think it was 192,” said Chaska Area Quilt Club member Norma Marien. “This year we’ve given away 122, but we probably have another 25 sitting there and have to go somewhere. So we’ll be close to that number from last year again.”

The comfort quilts have proven to be a good outlet for those with a “healthy addiction” to the art.

“All my family have my quilts so now nobody wants them anymore,” Marien said. “I have this stash of fabric that I can just go to and pick something and make something for the comfort workgroup, so I make very few for myself anymore.”

According to Cooper, the membership of the group is concentrated in Chaska, Chanhassen, Waconia and Minneapolis.

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