east meets west :: Okan Arts
east meets west

east meets west


By Patricia Belyea 

COLVILLE WA  Colville, in the top right corner of Washington state, recorded just under 5,000 residents in the 2010 census. Originally Fort Colville, it was the main trading center on the Upper Columbia River in early 1800s.

My evening with the Colville Piecemakers started with dinner at Stephani’s in downtown. This is the monthly ritual for a small group of guild members. The gathering provided fun social time to catch up and all the food looked great.

I followed VP Sally McTimmonds (top, second from left) to the church where we set up in the basement hall. The meeting started with a quick election of officers. The committee reports that followed included Bert, the librarian, displaying tools and books she’d just bought for members. One of the items, spring-loaded quilting snips, is now on my wish list.

After a splendid refreshments break featuring fresh fruit on skewers, there was a Show N’ Tell session with a line-up of accomplished quilters.

The first quilt shown (bottom, left) was made with Asian fabrics. The guild member who brought it was saluting the theme of the night—Japanese yukata quilts.

Another guild member (top left) completed 16 baby quilts in the last month for the birthing ward of the local hospital.

A high school student (top, third from left) made an impressive quilt for her senior project. Only 18 years old, she’s already a proficient quilter. Way to go, Girl!

A huge and spectacular quilt (top right) named Fifty Shades of Grey and inspired by the trilogy, impressed me with its grandeur. And now that set of books is on my recommended-to-read list.

Being in a such a historic place in eastern Washington, Colville quilters are mostly traditionalists. The group appreciated my stories of faraway places and graciously viewed my unconventional quilts from western Washington. And some of the members purchased yardage of my foreign cottons before the night was through.

No matter where we were from or our approach to the creative craft, the sisterhood of quilting shone through.

P.S. Thank you Terry (bottom, second from left) for being my righthand woman last night.

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