Seasons by the Sea quilt festival in Parksville all weekend

Needle artistry on tap as local quilters show off their creations

The first place raffle prize is a hand appliqued queen size quilt created by Edyta Sitar from a “Hop to it” design.

The first place raffle prize is a hand appliqued queen size quilt created by Edyta Sitar from a “Hop to it” design.

More than 300 hand-crafted, local quilts will be on display at the Parksville Community and Conference Centre this long weekend.

The Seasons by the Sea Quilt Festival runs every three years and brings together the best works of the Parksville Quilt House Quilters Guild and their friends.

The works include dozens of “comfort quilts,” made for hospitals, hospice, care homes and others, “quilts of valor” made for returning injured soldiers and junior fibre arts quilts, explained spokesperson Eva Hansen.

As the oldest and still one of the most respected quilting guilds on the Island, members come from all over to work together and donate over 100 quilts a year to the various worthy projects and organizations.

The guild, which has members of all ages, grew out of the quilting classes of Flo Conconi at the Parksville Quilt House in 1979 and now host the festival every three years to celebrate the amazing local collections and their ongoing community work.

Hansen said modern quilting guilds are an extension of the quilting bees that were crucial social gatherings in rural Canada 100 years ago.

This weekend’s festival kicks off today (May 18) with a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. and runs through to Sunday.

It includes quilting demonstrations, a guild boutique, hourly door prizes and three beautiful handmade quilts up for raffle. Organizers suspect the 5,000 tickets could sell out, so get yours early. Aside from the show, tickets are available from guild members and local quilt shops.

Along with the festival there are 41 antique quilts on display the at the Craig Heritage Park and Museum dating back to the 1850s, running through the end of May.

There are also quilt walks with 67 contemporary quilts on display in Parksville and Qualicum Beach businesses running until June 9. The businesses have a “Q” on the door and each has a list of participating businesses. For more on the guild check www.parksvillequilthousequilters.com. For more on the show check www.seasonsbythesea.com or call Eva at 250-738-0208.

The guild meets on the third Monday of each month at 1 and 7 p.m. at the Bradley Centre in Coombs from September until June. New members are always welcome.