Quilters Help Celebrate Centennial

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Centennial celebrations of all shapes, sizes and focus are being planned around Arizona, which will mark 100 years of statehood on Feb. 14, 2012.

One of the more far-reaching events is the Arizona Centennial Quilt Project of the Arizona’s Quilters Hall of Fame. It is a Centennial Commission Legacy Project. No other state has organized an event such as this to commemorate its centennial. This is the last centennial celebration of the continental 48 states. The next ones won’t be until Alaska and Hawaii celebrate in 2058 and 2059.

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Cheryl Dolby, owner of Quilting Sisters, shows off one style of the Centennial Fabric that is currently on sale.

The ACQP has several components:

• The Arizona Centennial Commemorative Quilt, which will represent the state and its history, was planned by a team of quilters, historians, and artisans who captured the state’s history by creating a quilt, which includes the shape of Arizona and representations of significant events and naturally occurring features placed in their geographic locations.

Once the design was finalized, fabrics were dyed and section “kits” were sent to quilters throughout the state for completion. Local quilters taking part in this project are Willene Smith of Pine and Gina Perkes of Payson. Perkes was also selected to do the actual quilting.

The quilt will be available for viewing at the Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescott, in the Blue Rose Theatre beginning Friday, Sept. 16. There will be a Victorian Tea held on the afternoon of Saturday, Sept. 24 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The tea will be the official unveiling of the quilt and will include the introduction of the quilt designers, ACQP officials and honored guests.

• The Centennial Fabric Challenge uses a specially designed line of fabric, commissioned by the ACQP, from Jason Yenter of In the Beginnings Fabrics of Seattle. This fabric will be marketed in all quilt shops in Arizona, including Quilting Sisters in Payson.

The line of fabric is comprised of two collections named “Arizona Centennial,” which is the main centennial fabric and “Southwest Beauties,” nine fabrics coordinated to go with the Arizona Centennial fabric. The fabrics are now available.

In the Fabric Challenge Arizona quilt makers are afforded the opportunity to use the commemorative fabric to demonstrate quilt techniques of the 21st century. This component is designed to provide an opportunity for quilt makers to display their skills both as artists and as quilt makers.

The culmination of the challenge will be in quilt shows throughout the state.

This phase of the ACQP will be documented and available to the public via the Web and other displays.

• The 100 Quilts for 100 Years component is another Arizona Centennial Celebration Quilt Challenge. It is an opportunity for quilters from around the state, young or old, novice or master, to submit their original design quilts reflecting their feeling and/or visions about Arizona’s history to a non-juried exhibit.

Entries must be postmarked between Monday, June 20 and Friday, July 1.

To celebrate Arizona’s 100 years of statehood, the first 100 quilts submitted, which meet the criteria of entry, will be part of a year-long quilt exhibit opening with a gala reception Feb. 18, 2012 at the Arizona Historical Society Museum in Tucson.

The exhibit includes a catalog, CD-Rom, and a Web-based virtual tour. It will tour the state at the close of the exhibit year. Through the year, there will be lectures, quilt study days, children’s activities, and other events open to the public. As a non-juried show this exhibit is designed to encourage quilters of all levels, from school children to the most skilled, to celebrate Arizona’s Statehood Centennial. A “legacy statement” will accompany each quilt — the quilter’s own words about the reasons behind the creation of the quilt.

More information about this outstanding Centennial Legacy Project, including entry requirements and specifics about the exhibits, is available at the Arizona Centennial Quilt Project Web site at www.arizonaquiltershalloffame.org and click on Arizona Centennial Quilt Project or e-mail arizonacentennialquiltproject@yahoo.com.

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