A stitch in time

Camas-Washougal quilters prep for Clark County Quilters’ 43rd annual show, April 5-7 in Ridgefield

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DeAnn Perrigo, a Camas quilter, and owner of Quiltthyme Studio, a long-arm quilting business, stands next to her "Out of Africa" quilt, which she plans to enter in this weekend's Clark County Quilters' 43rd annual Quilt Show at the Clark County Event Center.

When the Clark County Quilters’ 43rd annual Quilt Show hits the Clark County Event Center this weekend, Camas quilter DeAnn Perrigo will be ready.

“I go two times,” Perrigo says. “The first time is for me. That’s when I look at all of the quilts. I’m drawn to the art that people create — whether that’s traditional or art quilts or machine ”

And on that second day of the quilt extravaganza?

“That’s when I’ll take Collin and it will be all about him,” Perrigo says, referring to her 10-year-old grandson, who is showing his first quilt — a blue and green beauty inspired by the Seattle Sounders — at the local quilt show, which kicks off at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 5 and runs through 4 p.m., Saturday, April 7.

Perrigo, the owner of a long-arm quilting business called Quiltthyme Studio, is one of several Camas-Washougal quilting enthusiasts who belong to the 500-member Clark County Quilters group.

Perrigo will enter two quilts in this year’s quilt show, including a “flying geese” quilt she made for her Machine in Stitches mid- and long-arm quilting group and an “Out of Africa” quilt she made using fabric her husband, Brad, brought back from a church trip to Africa two years ago.

For Perrigo, 55, quilting is something that runs in her family. In her Camas quilting studio, Perrigo still keeps the quilt her grandmother made using scraps of her childhood clothing. She herself started quilting in high school and transitioned to the long-arm machine, which incorporates high tech precision into the quilting process, about 10 years ago. Today, her Quiltthyme business is thriving, with return customers’ quilts lined up and ready for their turn on Perrigo’s 14-foot-long quilting machine.

Of the upcoming quilt show, the Camas quilter says she loves the fact that the local quilting group puts on such a fun, accessible show.

“I really enjoy it,” Perrigo says of the Clark County Quilters show. “It has an exciting vibe when you walk in. It’s not like some shows, which are very quiet and museum-like. This is a fun show.”

Perrigo’s advice for first-time quilt show attendees is simple: “Give yourself enough time to see everything!”

Quilter Dianne Kane, also of Camas, is co-chairing the 43rd annual quilt show with another Clark County Quilters member, Wilma Scott. After acting as assistant chairs at last year’s show, Kane says she and Scott were ready to tackle the three-day event, which draws quilters and quilt lovers from across the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

“Wilma and I are in sync,” Kane says. “We’ve been bouncing ideas off each other, and the support we have from the guild is pretty amazing.”

This year’s show features 500 quilts — about 100 more than last year’s show — a wide variety of classes, lectures and demonstrations; categories for everyone from the youngest quilters and first-time quilt showers to expert, award-winning quilters; guest exhibits; vendors; and a special appearance by the National Association of Certified Quilt Judges.

Some of the highlights from this year’s show include:

The Fort Vancouver Tapestry: Although it’s not a quilt, many local quilters helped the Fort Vancouver Tapestry Foundation create this 108-foot-long art tapestry, depicting the history of Clark County.

Recycled Wedding Dresses: A small group of Clark County Quilters worked on this project throughout the year, taking discarded or donated couture wedding dresses and using the fabric to create a quilt.

inJEANious: The Clark County Quilters’ challenge for this year was to create quilts from upcycled blue jeans. The quilters will display their best “inJEANious” quilts at the CCQ Quilt Show, where show-goers will vote on their favorites for first-, second- and third-place prizes.

Guest Exhibits: Although it is primarily designed to feature local Clark County Quilters, the upcoming April 5-7 quilt show also showcases quilts from visiting guilds, including the Art Quilters of the Gorge, the Westside Modern Quilters Club and a traveling exhibit of 90, 20-square-inch quilts created by quilters from the United States, Japan and South Korea to showcase United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) sites in all three nations.

Many of the quilts on display will likely incorporate the theme of this year’s show, “Once in a Blue Moon,” which Kane says came from the fact that 2018 has two blue moons — the second full moon in one month — including a March Blue Moon that rose the week before the quilt show.

“Wilma and I picked the theme when we realized that there are two blue moons in 2018 and that won’t happen again until 2037,” Kane says.

The Camas co-chair will show seven of her own quilts, plus two of her 3D art pieces at the quilt show.

“I like to make all kinds of quilts, but the ones that bring me the most joy are the art quilts,” Kane says. “They inspire me to really push the boundaries.”

The Camas quilter says she has made several hundred quilts in her lifetime.

“I am the daughter of my mother and the niece of my aunt … like them, I need to create and to make things. Quilting affords me that opportunity,” Kane says. “Of the 400 or 500 quilts I’ve made, I’ve sold about 25 percent of them, and probably given away about 30 or 40 percent.”

Like Perrigo, Kane also enjoys wandering the quilt show to see what inspired her sister and fellow quilters.

“I love looking at the quilts and seeing what people create,” she says. “The first-time exhibitors are really fun, because that’s where most of us started. Those makers are always really proud of their quilts.”

Want to attend this year’s quilt show? The event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, April 5 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday and Saturday, April 6 and 7, at the Clark County Event Center, 17402 N.E. Delfel Road, Ridgefield. Daily admission costs $7 for adults, or $12 for a three-day pass. Children 12 and younger attend for free. Parking at the Event Center costs $6 per car.

For more information about the Clark County Quilters or the 43rd annual quilt show, visit