Mar 23, 2023 - News

Quilt San Francisco is back after pandemic-driven hiatus

Barb Strick's "Bullseye" quilt. Courtesy of Barb Strick

A biennial quilt show is returning to San Francisco after going on hiatus during the pandemic.

What's happening: The San Francisco Quilters Guild is hosting Quilt San Francisco at St. Mary's Cathedral tomorrow from 10am-6pm and Saturday from 10am-5pm to show off the work of its members.

  • Barb Strick, the guild's featured artist, will display 26 quilts at the show, including some from her "explosions" series.
  • "They're just these bursts of colors," Strick told Axios. "I have no idea what they're going to look like when they're finished. I just pull fabrics that I find interesting or that work well."

Of note: Strick's "Bullseye" quilt recently won the best-in-show award at QuiltCon 2023 in Atlanta.

Why it matters: Quilting has long been part of San Francisco's culture, and drew even more interest during the pandemic.

  • "A lot of people who started by making masks ended up making quilts." Peggy Cleary, president of the San Francisco Quilters Guild, told Axios. "So it saved a lot of people's sanity."

Flashback: In the late '80s, human rights activist Cleve Jones began the AIDS Memorial Quilt in San Francisco, in honor of his friend Marvin Feldman. Last June, San Francisco hosted the largest display of the historic quilt in Golden Gate Park.

What they're saying: "San Francisco has been one of the places that was in the forefront of displaying quilts as art," Cleary said.

The bottom line: The guild, founded in 1981, currently has about 200 members. The aim of the guild is to provide community through quilting workshops, lectures and more.

  • Cleary said that if someone joined who "had never put scissors to fabric or didn't have a sewing machine, they would be welcome and we'd love to share what we know."
  • One goal with the event is to inspire other people and show them that "this is not your grandmother's quilt that's just laying on a bed," Strick said. "Though, there are a lot of those as well."

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