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Quilting is a family legacy for Sonora resident Barbara Walker, who has been named the featured quilter of next weekend’s 28th annual Quilts and Threads Show at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora.
Walker’s paternal great-grandmothers and grandmother all were quilters, and she began sewing at a young age — hand-sewing dresses for her storybook dolls.
“I was 9 or 10,” she wrote in a biography for the show, “and these clothes were made of taffeta and satin. Not the easiest.”
Walker said she received her first sewing machine and lessons from her mother-in-law in 1945, when she arrived to the U.S. from Australia as a war bride and was greeted with Christmas gifts from her new family.
She said growing up it was not unusual for her to sew a dress and wear it out the same night. She made her first quilt when she was in high school.
For most of her life she sewed, crafted and took many sewing classes. She discovered her first quilt shop after moving the Tuolumne County in 1972 — the Patchwork Parlor.
“It was so close to home, my car learned the path even if I didn’t know I was going to the store,” she wrote.
She then learned hand-piecing and quilting, and eventually made shop models and taught classes at the store.
Walker became involved with Virginia’s Yarn Parlor in the late 1970s and worked there on Saturdays for 17 years. It was then that a group of women formed the Sierra Needle Artists. As a founding member, she took classes in needlework at many seminars and group correspondence courses.
Walker said her favorite quilts use a combination of piecing and embroidery, and several of hers will be on display at next weekend’s show.
“I am enjoying my quilting journey; sewing with bee friends and making community quilts has added a richness to my life.”
A Boutique Preview of the show will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 15. Admission costs $10 per person at the fairgrounds.
The show will continue from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 16 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 17. Admission costs $8 per person each day.
In addition to quilt exhibits, the event will include Quilts of Honors, door prizes, a children’s treasure hunt, vendors, food for purchase, quilt appraising and bed turning.
The show is co-sponsored by the Sierra Quilt Guild, Sierra Needle Artists and the Mother Lode Weavers and Spinners.
For more information, go online to www.sierraquiltguild.com.
Check it out
What: 28th annual Quilts and Threads Show
When: 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 15, $10 admission; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 16, $8 admission; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 17, $8 admission
Where: Mother Lode Fairgrounds, 220 Southgate Drive, Sonora