Quilters and art lovers from all over Texas visited the 2018 Quilt Show and Shop Hop at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center Friday and Saturday.

The biannual show, organized by the Crossroads to Texas Quilt Guild, combined 29 vendors as well as several art exhibits under one roof.

“It’s an absolutely wonderful place to come, meet fellow quilters and see beautiful art work,” said Laura Winckel, president of the Crossroads to Texas Quilt Guild.

The show featured over 200 quilts, including the special Hoffmann Challenge exhibit as well as a miniature quilt collection from San Antonio.

Although most of the visitors were hobby quilters themselves, some only came to enjoy extraordinary artwork.

“We are no quilters,” said Carol Morgan from Nolanville, who visited the Civic and Conference Center with her friend Jacyne McManon from Killeen. “We are just here admiring other people’s talents.”

Another highlight of the show were two lectures from nationally-known quilter Marianne Fons.

“Marianne Fons is a wonderful person,” Winckel said. “She is helping people understand that … they can do anything because she is just a normal woman that puts fabric together that comes out beautifully.”

The author of many quilting books taught fabric arts on national TV for over 20 years.

“She just had such wonderful tips and really brought quilting into everyone’s home,” Winckel said. “It is like having a movie star here.”

Stephanie Reaves, who visited the quilt show with her daughter Rebecca Reaves, didn’t want to miss the opportunity to see her idol.

“We drove all the way from Fort Worth just to see her,” she said.

To answer everyone’s question, Fons took her time to meet and greet with fans before and after the lectures.

Fons has been quilting since her 20’s and was happy that the traditional artwork is still a big part of the American culture.

“I like to say what the Kimono is for Japan, the quilt is to America,” she said. “It’s sort of our icon Americana.”

Fons lectures explained technical aspects of different kinds of quilts including techniques and engineering.

“The first lecture is … a show of quilts mostly made in the past that just knocks your socks off,” she said. “You will wonder how in the world they figured it out to make these amazing quilts.”

The second lecture examined the four different genres of quilt: traditional, art, contemporary and modern.

“The lectures are pretty light and entertaining but also educational,” Fons said. “Most people here … are hobby quilters and they are making quilts out of love.”

Although there are a variety of tutorials found on the internet, Fons recommended new quilters to take a beginner’s class at a local shop.

“There is nothing better than taking a class at an independent quilt shop where you can take a basic class, make friends and get great advice,” she said. “It’s hard to learn from a computer but it’s great to learn with people.”

Winckel and Fons met following their shared passion while working for the Quilts of Valor Foundation. The organization creates hand-stitched quilts for military service members.

“I was on the board of directors for about seven years and we are really close to having awarded 200,000 quilts over the last years,” Fons said.

Also during the show Saturday, event organizers presented 22 Quilts of Valor to U.S. Army veterans who fought in the Seige of Sadr City, Iraq, that began on April 4, 2004, later known as “Black Sunday.”

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