Vintage Discoveries & Quilts Galore

Feed Your Creative Muse with Vintage Discoveries & Quilts Galore

If your decorating taste has one foot in the past, two lively April events are sure to stir your creative muse. Make a note on your calendar now to discover the wealth of decorating inspiration at the Fidalgo Island Quilters’ biennial quilt show, April 15-16, and the Anacortes Vintage Market, April 29-30. 

Vintage Discoveries and Quilts Galore in AnacortesAnacortes Vintage Market

Kitsch, camp, antiques, upcycled, and newly minted vintage goods will clamor for your attention at the Anacortes Vintage Market spring show, Saturday, April 30th, at the Port of Anacortes Transit Shed. Milk-painted shelf, jewel-fringed lamp, garden rake coat rack—be among the first to decide if it’s trash or treasure that catches your eye at this junker’s paradise. Over 30 booths will be chockful of home décor, garden goodies, antiques, repurposed, upcycled items.

Isn’t this just the excuse you need to plan a weekend getaway in Anacortes?

Cruise in Friday night to plot your strategy for Saturday’s hunt. Then, sleep soundly in the fresh island air and be among the first in line for Saturday’s 9 am opening. Then, stow your treasures and spend the rest of the day exploring the city’s unique shops, perhaps updating your kitchen with something from Epicure … for the Passionate Cook or discovering the fresh spring fashions at Tides of Anacortes.

For lunch and supper there’re tastes for all, from imaginative vegetarian dishes to bounteous burgers, seafood to smoothies.

Anacortes Vintage Market, Sat., April 30, 9 am–4 pm, admission $7 or $5 with donation of two cans of food for the food drive. Tickets available online (recommended, to save time in line!) or at the door the day of the show. Note: Reduced-price Saturday ticket not available for online purchasers. Port of Anacortes Transit Shed, 100 Commercial Avenue, Anacortes, WA. Sponsored by Sassy Frass Co.

Special Hotel/Motel discounts for Anacortes Vintage Market guests!

The Majestic Inn and Spa: 15% off discount if you CALL to book your reservation (360-299-1400); promo code AVMS (Anacortes Vintage Market Show).
The Cap Sante Inn: Show special for one or two people (one bed), $69 + tax; for two people (two beds), $79 + tax; (1-800-852-0846).

April Means “Quilts in Bloom”

Vintage Discoveries and Quilts Galore in AnacortesEchoing Skagit Valley’s patchwork of colorful tulip fields, the much-loved Quilt Walk will find Anacortes shops ablaze with vibrantly colored quilts throughout April. Quilt Walk maps will be available at participating businesses and at the Anacortes Visitor Center, 9th Street and Commercial Avenue. Searching out these unique art pieces is a wonderful way to discover the city’s variety of shops, restaurants, and services.

Sponsored by Fidalgo Island Quilters (FIQ), the Quilt Walk is just a taste of what’s in store at FIQ’s biennial Quilts in Bloom,” quilt show at Swinomish Casino & Hotel, Friday and Saturday, April 15 and 16, 10am–5 pm. The casino is conveniently located adjacent to Hwy 20. Head west from I-5 Exit 230 and look for the casino on your right, just over the graceful bridge spanning Swinomish Slough.

Among the show’s highlights are the Wearable Art Show, at 1 pm, Saturday, and the imaginative work of this year’s featured artist, Katrine A. Eagling, showcasing her 20-year quilting journey. Says Eagling, “My artistic style for 34 years was minimal and free. Now my quilt style is improv, which comes full circle. Minimal plus free equals improv! If you don’t believe me—or even if you do—come see what I’m about!”

Working behind the show’s scenes is a way for new quilt guild members to gain experience and encouragement on the often-stringent criteria of exhibit quilts. “As a new member of the guild,” says Anacortes resident Karen Backman, “I’m astonished by the talent in the Anacortes quilting community. Not only are these (mostly) women talented, but their joy for life and sense of fun inspires me as much as their wonderful handiwork.”

“Quilts in Bloom” will showcase over 200 quilts by members of Fidalgo Island Quilters in a wide range of piecing, appliquéing, and quilting techniques, and in styles that range from traditional utility to sophisticated art and modern quilts. View entries that have traveled to prestigious national shows as well as first works of new quilters.

Visitors are invited to vote for their favorite pieces in a variety of categories. This year’s invitational category features works by members of the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild.  “With its spacious design and excellent lighting, the Swinomish venue is perfect for this type of event, and large enough to accommodate all entries in one exhibition hall,” notes show co-chair Joy Neal.

And don’t forget to purchase a raffle ticket for a chance to win “Raining Bowties,” designed by featured artist Katrine Eagling and Mary Ellen Gilmore. The 2016 raffle quilt, with its 750 tiny bowties and appliqued central medallion, will be prominently displayed at the show. The annual raffle is the primary FIQ fundraiser, which supports educational classes for young students and quilts for people in need. Tickets are only $2 each.  

During the show, look for ribbons on this year’s Challenge Quilt winners. FIQ members will have chosen their favorites among these tiny vignettes–quilts of 100 square inches or less designed within the of the parameters of this year’s Challenge Quilt criteria.

For an occasional break from creative discoveries overload, visit the Merchant Mall, featuring Northwest vendors specializing in—but not limited to—quilting-related merchandise, including Olympic Wool Works, Hyde & Reed Basketry, The Bead Shop at Elisabeth’s Cottage, The Quilted Trillium, Threadmongers, and Treehouse Studio, among others. At the FIQ Boutique you’ll find fabric, books, gadgets, quilted items, and much more from the studios of guild members. Plus, there’ll be quilting demonstrations and hands-on and children’s activities.

Fidalgo Island Quilters is a registered non-profit organization whose mission is to create and distribute quilts to children and families in distress. Current recipients include the Skagit County Domestic Violence Center, Quilts of Valor, American Hero Quilts, the Anacortes Family Shelter, the Swinomish Family Shelter, Children’s Hospital, and Project Linus. Learn more at

“Quilts in Bloom,” Swinomish Casino & Lodge, 12885 Casino Drive, Anacortes, WA, Fri. and Sat., April 15 and 16, 10 am–5 pm; admission $7; children 12 and under free. For more information, or (360) 202-3410.

Quilt Style Glossary (to help you master “Quiltese”)

Traditional quilt Follows the traditional pieced patterns of quilting; in symmetrical patterns, on a grid with or without borders.
Pictorial quilt A likeness or image as the focal point.
Appliqué quilt Appliqué as 50% of the quilt’s design focal point. Applique may be on or cut into the quilt surface.
Group quilt Made by 2 or more persons (not including the quilting).
Wearable Garment or accessory that displays innovative use of textiles and surface design. Many of the same construction and ornamentation techniques used in traditional quilting are seen in this category.
Art or Non-traditional quilt Uses non-traditional materials and methods to create textile art.
Modern quilt Asymmetrical, focus on negative space, use mostly straight or geometric quilt stitching, favor solid fabrics, use traditional block patterns that have been enlarged or exaggerated and without borders.
Contemporary quilt Usually symmetrical, use mostly straight or geometric quilt stitching, favor modern fabrics in contemporary colors, use enlarged or exaggerated traditional block patterns without borders.
Improvisational quilt No planned pattern, invented or arranged offhand; fabricated out of what is conveniently on hand. Solid and printed fabrics, usually in unusual combinations.

originally written March 2016 by Jan Hersey

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