Sandy Cerra of Kansas City, North, tricked her grandchildren into going to the Overland Park Convention Center with her Friday to the first Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival.
“I told them it was a maze with quilts on the wall,” Cerra said, who persuaded her daughter-in-law Melinda Cerra of Olathe to bring her children, Joshua, 12, Lily, 10, and twins Jude and Ava, 9. “That’s how I got them here.”
Cerra was partly correct. More than 700 quilts have been hung on display for the festival, which runs through Sunday. It is expected to draw as many as 15,000 people.
“I’ve been quilting since I was very small,” Cerra said. “My grandmother taught me how to quilt and my mother’s grandmother taught her. I love looking at quilts and the creativity. They bring out a lot of hope and joy.”
And she hopes that maybe one day she too can create quilts as pretty as those that were on display Friday.
“I’ve been pointing out to the kids that even if things aren’t perfect, they are still beautiful and very loved,” she said. “I hope I can pass some of this on to the grandkids.”
Lynn Droege, co-chair of the festival, said quilting has always been a popular form of sewing in the Midwest. Originally it was done for utilitarian purposes. But now it’s a hobby and an art form.
Tickets cost $12 at the door for the show, which was organized by 15 area quilt guilds. In addition to viewing the quilts, people attend workshops and lectures as well as visit with vendors. For more about the festival, go to kcrqf.com.
Deana Brown of Odessa, who has been quilting for more than 30 years, said she likes attending the festivals to see the new tools the vendors have.
“It’s full of energy,” she said. “You get a lot of ideas from what others have done.”