“Have Quilt Will Travel” coming to a show near you
“Have Quilt Will Travel” isn’t just a play on words from the late 50’s, early 60’s TV show “Have Gun Will Travel.” To quilters of Lebanon, Oregon’s Santiam Scrappers Quilt Guild, it’s spending summer weekends this year, traveling around the Willamette Valley with the guild’s “Quilted Car.” To these hardcore quilters, they are actually living those words!
Creating car quilts is a Willamette Valley thing
The idea to create a true “car quilt” was born when Peggy Christopherson saw a car quilt made by Karen Wells of nearby Jefferson, Oregon. Karen had quilted her PT Cruiser in 2008. She based her quilt on a car in Florida she saw on the Internet.
Taking photos of Karen’s car to a guild meeting in spring 2008, Peggy convinced members that they should make a car quilt for Lebanon. And so it began. The result is now there are 2 quilted cars in Oregon of the 8 to 10 such vehicles in North America.
Springing to life in 2008
The car quilt was made over about 6 months in 2008-2009 by 6 to 8 quilters using 100’s of orphan blocks, batting, backing and binding. All this material came from the entire Guild. The finished cover is “sort of street legal” on a 2005 Honda Odyssey van. At fairs, shows and other events is now takes 5 to10 minutes to get fully “gussied up.”
After they created this cover, they discovered how truly unique it is. Thus they decided to use it to promote quilting, the Guild’s Quilt Show 2009, Oct. 17-18, 2009 and Lebanon in general.
Now it’s a true “traveling quilt”
So now the car and a few guild members travel most weekends to show off the car. By the end of September “Have Quilt Will Travel” will have been in more than 15 parades, quilt festivals, farmers’ markets and fairs. In mid July it spent 4 days at the Linn County Fair and early September, 2 days at the Oregon State Fair. One of its biggest audiences was at the famous Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in July. Future shows may even include the 2010 SewExpo in Puyallup WA.
“Mommy, it’s neat, ‘cause I got to touch it”
At Sisters, when a mom described the famous Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show to her 5-year-old daughter, she told her, “Quilts would be hung all over. They’d be hung on fences, on building walls and even on roofs.” The little girl then asked if they would be hung over cars, Mommy told her “No” because the cars had to drive away. When they arrived at the show, the little girl was so excited since one of the first things they saw were two quilted cars! She was so thrilled that she got to touch the “Quilted Car!”
A quick, late September trip to Portland
Probably it’s final trip before the October quilt show was to Fabric Depot, a giant fabric store, in Portland. Fabric Depot is well known to quilters and others sewers. On September 19th just outside the huge store, Peggy and guild members handed out many quilt show bookmarks, guild info and posed for hundreds of cell phone photos.
Men, young and old, see a car quilt different
In Sisters, at the Oregon State Fair and in Portland, guild “travelers” even gave out many “Guess the Number of Blocks” contest blanks. This contest is to guess the number of blocks in the car quilt. The winning guess will be awarded a prize at the October quilt show.
Interestingly, while women are amazed and wonder, “How long did it take,” many men, ask, “How much would it cost to make me one?” Then when they hear that Karen Wells will make a car quilt for a $1,500 donation to her community center, they decide to enter the “Guess the Number of Blocks” contest.
Oregon rains may help other car quilts “grow”
After Santiam Scrappers annual quilt show, “Rock Around the Block” on October 17–18, the quilted car cover will be put away for the Oregon winter. Peggy says, “It will get really heavy when wet and Oregon can be very wet!”
However, these ladies have more plans for future car covers. They are now talking about a “Quilt for the Cure,” promoting breast cancer research, on a Mercedes Convertible. Another idea is to do a scrappy cover on a PT Cruiser and for the men, a Harley “Fat Boy” Motorcycle.
Since there are only about 10 quilted cars in Canada and the US, based on internet research, Santiam Scrappers believe they may make Oregon the “capital” of car quilts, and, “Adding three more will really put us and quilting on the map.” Watch out Rollin Oldies, theses scrappy quilters may soon show up on the car show circuit!
Quilt Show 2009 "Rock Around the Block" Oct 17–18
The 7th annual fall quilt show in Lebanon, Oregon is more quilting and textile art fun for all. It is the last quilt show in Oregon form 2009. Come to the mid-valley and start your holiday quilting.
- $250 in Judged Awards—Judged quilts accepted & judged Oct 15
- $300 in Other Awards
- Entry form deadline: Oct 1, 2009 to get entry info in program.
- Late entries accepted up til Show Time, Oct 16.
- See http://santiamscrappers.org/quiltShow
Get entry forms everywhere in mid–Valley
- At local quilt shops
- Lebanon Chamber of Commerce, 1040 S Park, Lebanon
9am-5pm, Mon-Fri, 541-258-7164
- On SSQG website http://santiamscrappers.org/quiltShow
- 14 Door Prize Giveaways
- $250 Judged Quilt Awards
- $300+Themed Quilt Awards
- Gift Raffles
- Sewing Ergonomics
- Oregon Quilt History
- Rock ‘n Roll Era Quilts
- Quilt Documentation
- Alice Leisy
- Small Quilt Silent Auction & Buy
- Youth (under 17)
- Wearable Art
- Fabric Folding Art
- Make a Purse
- Dimensional Flowers
- Scissors Sharpened
- Kid's Quilting, Games, Education
- Bed Turning
- Giant Quilt Block Scrabble Game
- Quilted Car Show
- Guess Number of Blocks Contest
- Portland Lace Society
- Project Linus