Representing their own patchwork cross-section of the Grand Canyon State, quilters from across Arizona will gather March 14-16 for the Arizona Quilters Guild annual show at the Mesa Convention Center.
National Quilting Day is observed on the third Saturday every March and this year's show falls on that weekend.
Trends and Traditions is the theme and attendees will have a chance to see hundreds of quilts, buy from vendors, attend lectures - even bring a quilt to have its value or provenance appraised.
The event offers something new this time: the chance to add stitches of your own for a charitable cause.
This year's show features a 'Sew-A-Thon' to benefit the Child Crisis Center.
Arizona Quilters Guild members and show attendees are invited to participate while at the show - to sit for a bit and make a difference; children are welcome to stitch along with an adult as well.
Mulqueen Sewing Centers in Mesa and Glendale are generously sponsoring the Sew-A-Thon, providing sewing machines and quilting machines for use during the event, and 'thank-you' prizes for the stitchers, including a brand new sewing machine.
Items to be made are special tote bags for children's belongings, zippered toiletries bags for the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Program, and a small sit-upon quilt with a book bag to match for the new Reading Mentor Program to be launched this summer.
All of these have been kitted and are ready to sew. Participants can learn how to piece a simple block for the small quilts and also how to do simple machine quilting.
All of the stitchers will know that their skills are helping children.
A representative from the Child Crisis Center will be on hand and information about all of the organization's programs will be available.
The show will have something for everyone, from the traditional hand-stitcher to the modern sewist. Quilts and quilted items of every size, shape, and description will fill the rooms and hallways of the convention center.
Vendors will have fabrics of every conceivable kind and color; sewing machines will run the gamut from domestic to longarm models, plus those with special embroidery capabilities. Threads, tools, batting, patterns - and specialized sewing furniture will be featured.
A very special exhibit - Hexagons are Hot! - will feature all kinds of quilts made from hexagons and shapes created from hexagons. Members from the Closet Quilters, a chapter of AQG, will be on hand demonstrating how these quilts are stitched and people can sit and try the paper-piecing method.
Lectures, included with the admission fee, will feature nationally-known teachers and topics ranging from architectural influences on quiltmaking to the history of hexagon quilts to the creation of specialty art quilts and more.
Lots to see, lots to do, lots to learn, lots of shopping opportunities, food available on site, and free parking - it's all good! Complete information is posted at azquiltersguild.org (click on the Quilt Show tab).
You can also read about the 2013 Opportunity Quilt, Tulips in the Snow, created by AQG chapter, the Rippers, and quilted by national award-winning quilter and AQG member Terri Doyle, of Gilbert.
Spend a wonderful day at the Arizona Quilters Guild Annual Show!
Mesa Convention Center, 263 N. Center Street - Look for the blue banners. Friday, March 15 - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 16 - 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.