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Cape Quilters’ Guild to display creations Saturday

March 1, 2019
By KATIE J. EGAN ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Dianne Zinszer says the Cape Coral Quilters' Guild's annual quilt display on Saturday is a way to show the public what the group is all about.

It's also a chance for the guild to talk about how they give back to the community.

"The main thing about the display is to show people the artistic part of quilting," said Zinszer, an eight-year member of the guild. "There are so many different designs you can make and see. Different types of quilts that are pieced together. We're trying to show the whole process and the end result."

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One of the Cape Coral Quilters’ Guild quilts.

The 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. event is free and open to the public at the Cape Coral - Lee County Public Library. On Tuesday, Zinszer said there were 75 quilts to put out, but she said that number would probably increase since some members are going to be bringing in quilts the day of the show.

Members of the guild will showcase their personal works. Some items will be available for purchase, but due to the library's rules, they will not be allowed to be bought inside the building during the event.

The guild has four hangers to hang the quilts on. The rest will be displayed over chairs.

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The display has been a guild tradition for approximately 10 years. This is Zinszer's second time participating and the first time the guild is hosting demonstrations with the display.

Guild president Nancy Leatherman is excited about the demonstrations so the public can really see how much work goes into the quilting process.

"The hours you spend cutting it out and then sewing it," she said. "You have to cut up perfectly good material into small pieces, and then you have to sew it back together as a pattern. Then you sandwich the top and the bottom with batting. Then you have to quilt it and somehow make it stick together."

When Leatherman was reached by phone Wednesday, she was with a friend who was sewing a top for a quilt.

"It will probably take 15 hours for just the top," Leatherman said.

The display has been held at a handful of places in the past. This is the second consecutive year it will be at the library.

Zinszer says there will be all different kinds of quilts on display in different colors with different patterns.

There will also be things like tote bags, wallets, table runners and place mats.

"Things that the women do in the guild," she said. "We're all sewers. We like to sew. We like fabric. We're pretty addicted to fabric."

For the guild's members, quilt making is a passion and giving back to the community is what keeps them going.

"I can make quilts," Zinszer said. "But how many can I make that I need or that my family needs?

We like to sew, we like to create, so we make these things for the community."

There will be hand-quilted quilts on display, some antique ones and more modern and traditional quilts, all in a variety of patterns.

"Often the public thinks it's just a bunch of old women getting together to quilt," Zinszer said. "But it's an artistic form and an outlet for us. A way to give back."

Demonstrations at the Saturday event will include cutting and piecing quilt blocks and free-motion quilting on a home sewing machine.

The top of a quilt is usually a piece top, Zinszer said, which means it can be all different designs and colors. Normally there is a batting in the middle, which is used as a layer of insulation between fabrics. The third layer of the quilt is its backing.

"Some quilts can take a couple months," Zinszer said. "They're not just made overnight."

Some members do machine quilting and some prefer hand-quilting. There are also some who have long-arm quilting machines.

The guild is open for anyone who wants to come and learn, regardless of their skill level.

Leatherman has been part of other sewing guilds in the past and she says the Cape Coral Quilters' Guild is unique because members get together and sew once a week.

"Most guilds get together once a month and might have a workshop where they sew projects," she said.

At her old guild, Leatherman said they did the sewing at home. In Cape Coral, members bring their supplies and sew together.

"When you spend time once a week, you really get to know each other," she said. "We are sewing sisters."

Leatherman learned how to sew from her sister and became more involved in quilting when her daughter was born.

"It's just a wonderful thing to pass down to each generation," she said.

And in her opinion, "It's the giving away that's so neat.

"You're thinking about that recipient as you're making it," Leatherman said. "Hoping they like this quilt, hoping they like the color. You're giving them comfort and letting them know someone cares enough about them to make this."



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