Nearly 800 guests attended the 10th Annual Ellis County Quilt Show, “A World of Color,” which was held at the Midlothian Conference Center on Friday and Saturday, July 19 and 20.

“Making quilts is an art that has been passed from one generation of women to the next,” said Rhonda Hughes-Montee, quilt show chair and owner of Corner Square Quilts in Cedar Hill. “Today both men and women enjoy quilting. Our show increases awareness of the art and raises the funds needed to sustain our mission.”

Attendees said the show compared favorably to prior year’s shows and to larger metropolitan shows, due to the quality of the entries as well as the thorough organization and planning provided by the Creative Quilters Guild of Ellis County.

“I heard many people comment that this was the best show we’ve ever had,” said Guild Secretary Trudy Coker of Midlothian.

Best of Show/Special Guest honors went to the quilt “Magical Medallions,” created by Janice Bentley of Dallas. Entered in the “Master Large Appliqué” category, the quilt features intricate, colorful floral medallions, hand appliquéd on a white background.  It was quilted by Richard Larson, with extravagant feathering and tight stippling that highlights the impeccable appliqué work.

Larson also served as one of two judges for the show, along with American Quilter’s Society Certified Appraiser, Denise Bartosh. A graduate of Wades Fashion  Merchandising College with a degree in fashion design and textiles, Larson worked in Dallas area design houses during the 1970’s and 1980’s, designing women’s “after five” apparel. In 1997, Larson created an appliqué quilt top and sent it out to be quilted; his disappointment in the work that was done caused him to purchase a machine and learn the craft himself.  Soon, he left his corporate travel agent job to pursue a full-time career in professional quilting.

Bartosh is an award-winning quilter, quilt lecturer, quilt historian, quilt collector, quilt restorer and quilt show judge. She has published a number of patterns along with Joan Howes, most notably the pair’s “Simply Unique” series. The latest pattern is “Cover Your Child with Love,” a storybook quilt design.

Vendors at the show sold everything from sewing machines to fabric to books to jewelry, and ranged from authors to furniture makers to a Waxahachie longarm quilting studio.

“The show was a wonderful experience,” said vendor chairperson Debbie McCann. “With 116 quilts and 24 vendors, there was something for everyone.  I very much enjoyed the show.”

Door prizes were awarded every hour throughout the show, and the drawing was held for the Guild’s annual raffle quilt. (This year’s winning ticket was sold at Waxahachie Trade Days.)  Quilt Guild Member Pam Rumsey was the winner of a Janome sewing machine.

A silent auction, featuring miniature quilts donated mainly by Guild members was also held during the show.  

“We had a total of 45 quilts, 22 on Friday and 23 on Saturday,” said Coker, who served as the auction organizer. “The total for the auction was $780!”

Hope Clinic was selected by guild members as the beneficiary of this year’s silent auction.

“Funds and other donations are desperately needed,” said Gloria DeLong, who has also organized collection of infant clothing, blankets, cribs and toiletries for expectant mothers served by Hope Clinic. “If I had a million dollars to give, I would give it to Hope Clinic.”

Community service projects are a priority for the Creative Quilter’s Guild of Ellis County, which meets on the fourth Monday of each month (except December), at 7 p.m., in the sanctuary of the Waxahachie Bible Church.  

During 2012, the group provided some 200 quilts for veterans being treated at the North Texas VA Hospital in Dallas.

“The Creative Quilters Guild of Ellis County is continuing this tradition by teaching women and men quilting skills that are used to make quilts for hospitals, veterans and charities,” said Hughes-Montee.

The next meeting of the Guild will be held on Monday, July 22, at 7 p.m. and will feature a program on “Sewing Spaces and Organizational Ideas.”  

Visitors are welcomed.