Pine resident John Stanton realized quilts were going to be a prominent part of his life when he was relegated from the living room to the family room by a 14-foot-long quilting machine his wife dubbed ‘The Monster.'
"Earlier this year my wife bought a professional quilting machine," he said. "We had to put it in the living room through the window."
And now there are three in this close-knit (no pun intended) family -- Debbie, John and The Monster. Not to mention their two dogs.
That was when John realized his best course of action was to join the party, and he did -- as the director of the first annual Rim Country Quilt Roundup, which takes place Nov. 3 through 5.
"I had been working at Foxworth and had retired for about the 13th time," he explained. "I said, ‘That sounds like a challenge. I'll take it on.'"
Stanton believes the event, which will be staged in various locations in Payson, is destined to become a Rim Country fixture. The actual show is at First Church of the Nazarene, 200 E. Tyler Parkway, while the headquarters will be located at The Quilter's Outpost, 904 N. Beeline Highway. Classes will be held at a variety of locations.
Stanton believes the show will be a big success, in part because quilting is so popular in the Rim Country.
"This little bitty town in the middle of central Arizona has got two of the finest quilters in the United States -- Gina Perkes and Sharon Schamber," Stanton said. Not to mention a host of very active quilting groups.
But there's another reason Stanton believes the event will be successful -- the staying power of quilts:
"Quilts have been made for a millennia, but it is a part of the Americana tradition for quilts to be made of scrap pieces that you put together.
"It's something that you can pass down through the generations, and when you look at a quilt, you're not just looking at it for today or the next week or so. You're looking at your kids and your grandkids and things like that.
"I happen to have a quilt that was done by my great-grandmother, and the idea that I'm going to pass it to my kids -- that's five generations -- to me is important."
In all, Stanton expects about 150 quilts from around the United States, including Alaska, Massachusetts, Texas, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. Some will simply be on display, and some will be competing for $550 in cash prizes and other awards.
Show hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $2 for adults, free for children under 12.
Classes, lectures and a free trunk show by instructor Pat Timms will also be held in conjunction with the Quilt Roundup.
"A trunk show shows you where she started way back when, and all of the things she's done up to this point -- and she tells stories about it," Stanton said.
Call or stop by The Quilter's Outpost (928-468-6360) for more information on class availability.