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Annual quilt show now on display at the Bowen
quilts 1
The Heart in Hand Quilt Guild show is currently on display at the Bowen Center for the Arts. This year’s theme was “Falling In Love With Quilting.” - photo by Jessica Taylor

The fall season is here, and according to the Heart in Hand Quilt Guild, it’s time to fall in love – with quilting.

On Saturday afternoon, the Bowen Center for the Arts was bustling with excitement as members of the guild and quilt enthusiasts across north Georgia gathered for the annual quilt show Sept. 28.

Beautifully patterned and colorful quilts currently adorn the walls and drape from the ceiling at the art center and will remain on display until Oct. 24.

“The theme of our show is ‘Falling in Love with Quilting’ so falling in love with quilting kind of brings fall,” guild president Sylvia LaFalce said.

Many of the 65 quilts on display feature Halloween and fall motifs and colors to tie into the festive theme.

Guild members also had the opportunity to create challenging quilts. This year’s challenge theme of “Things You Love” provided a general guideline for the quilters to create a quilt 40 inches or smaller with designs depicting something they love.

The annual show is a great way for the community to see local artists, according to guild vice president Pat Melcher.

“Some people, even if they don’t quilt anymore, they just love looking at the quilts,” Melcher said. “I know the Bowen Art Center loves having them, too.”

Each quilt is unique and can take anywhere from hours to days to complete according to LaFalce.

“It can range to a couple hours to a couple of weeks,” LaFalce said. “It really depends upon the intricacy of the pattern.”

The guild was formed in 2002 and has grown into a nonprofit organization with a purpose to promote and perpetuate the art of quilting through regular meetings, informal meetings, workshops and exhibits. They also serve the community by making First Responder Comfort Quilts for the deputies at the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office to provide to children in need during calls, as well as provides tissue box covers for all 135 members of the Dawson County Senior Center.

The guild also works together to piece together a raffle quilt that is on display from June until December. The winner will be selected at the guild’s Dec. 10 meeting.

“All the guild members – some people bring fabric, some people put different block…together so we try to get the raffle quilt to be the whole membership really contributing one way or another,” Melcher said.

This year is unusual, however, as guild member Regina Johnson donated a quilt for the raffle. Melcher said it means the guild is almost completed with its quilt for next year.

According to LaFalce, the quilt raffle raises about $2,000 which is given to the Bowen Center for the Arts.

“That’s how we thank them for letting us meet here,” LaFalce said.

“It’s wonderful that we have the center here because, I mean, to come in and watch for free beautiful artwork whether it’s pottery or painting or photography, quilting, it’s a wonderful thing for Dawson that we have this art center,” Melcher said.

The guild meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month and hosts informal handwork Sit ‘n Sew meetings at 1 p.m. on the third Friday of the month at the art center. The annual membership fee is $20.

Raffle tickets can be purchased at the Bowen for $1 a piece or six for $5.

The Bowen is located at 334 Hwy. 9 North next to Lanier Tech. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Admission is free.