Popular quilter Stacey Day inspired by her Salmon Arm grandmother

Day bringing suitcase full of show-worthy quilts for May 8 presentation

Stacey Day loves to quilt. And when she is not quilting, she’s wishing she were.

The talented quilter, author pattern writer and designer, to whom fabric is a way of life, will be paying a visit to the Shuswap Quilters Guild on May 8 – and she’s bringing suitcases full of her show-worthy quilts.

“The show is going to be big; I have more quilts than anyone needs and I will bring fun quilts, with patterns from magazines and website that are free and visually entertaining. There’s not a dull quilt in the bunch,” says the personable young artist. “I will embarrass myself at least three times – that’s just a given. I’ll either trip over the microphone stand or it will be when I tell one of my stories.

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Day, who can’t remember a time when fabric wasn’t part of her life, says both her grandmothers were quilters, as was her mother.

But it was her Grandma Shirley Crout, who is a member of the Shuswap Quilter’s Guild and lives in Salmon Arm, who first piqued her interest.

“I always wanted to be an artist when I grew up and fabric just makes the perfect medium, with its colours and form,” she says. “It’s very tactile and I use such a wide range of colours; it feeds my creativity and hits all the right notes in what I like and what I find visually appealing.”

Day says some of her best memories of her grandma were spent in the sewing room – memories of comfort, happiness and family. And each quilt is a reminder of what was going on in her life when she was making it.

Her new book, Stacey Day Child’s Play Quilts, features 40 quilts with 20 patterns and is available at local fabric stores and online at Stacey Day Child’s Play Quilts

“Every little bit, from the fabric choices to the designs, the batting to the quilting and binding, every element has been carefully curated with children in mind.” says Day on her websitestaceyinstitches.com. “I wanted my quilts to be fun, friendly, and colourful.”

In 2013, Day was guest speaker for the Gathering of the Guilds in Salmon Arm and again in 2016 when the event was held in Osoyoos. The Gathering is attended by approximately 300 quilters from more than 35 guilds within the Thompson-Okanagan region.

“I love coming to Salmon Arm and having fun, the guild is always fantastic,” Days says enthusiastically.

The avid quilter will be displaying many of her quilts in a trunk show on May 8 in the parish hall at St. Joseph’s Church. But it’s not all about show and tell.

In her workshop, Stars of the Show, quilters will learn how to make one of Day’s favourite quilts – Stars of the Show was created specifically to showcase the All Stars collection from (quilting fabric maker) Tula Pink. Day says she spent a lot of time custom quilting this project, determined to “have fun in the negative spaces.”

“I adore this quilt. I have a major thing for rainbows, and the colours in All Stars hit all the right buttons for me,” she says. “This quilt is circus themed, with the stripes and dotted-star points that look like big top tents, and the animals starring in the centre ring of each.”

Members of the guild are equally excited about Day’s visit.

A guild member since 1989, Blanche Hartnett says there are more than 100 members on the roster, with 50 to 60 of them attending twice-monthly meetings that come from around the lake in both directions, as far as Sicamous to the east, and a number of places between Salmon Arm and the North Shuswap.

Hartnett says the guild has “sewn” many friendships together over the years.

“A lot of us started sewing clothes for ourselves, and then some of us started quilting and said forget about making clothes,” she laughs, acknowledging her own addiction.

Read more: Banners and barn quilts to beautify Sicamous

Read more: Shuswap Quilters Guild donates comfort

The guild is active with monthly demos and hands-on workshops, and has made a significant charitable contribution to the community over the years. Donations include 272 quilts to the Salmon Arm Women’s Shelter; 81 to Police Victim Services; 340 to Shuswap Lake General Hospital – palliative care, chemo and wheelchair patients: 774 to the Healthiest Babies Possible Program; 16 to the New Year’s Baby: 81 to fire and flood victims; 35 to Syrian refugees and two to RJ Haney Heritage Village and museum.

The guild has also contributed raffle quilts for six charities and public art quilts are exhibited at the Salmon Arm library and Shuswap Lake General Hospital. The guild is planning a quilt show in June of next year.

For information about the guild and events, call Blanche Hartnett at 250-832-5045 or Carol McGregor at 250-832-4263.


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