By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Hundreds attend 1st day of quilt show
New retirees Richard and Rosanna Elliott are first-time visitors to the annual Manteca Quilt & Doll Show now in its 31st year. Rosanna, who just retired from the San Jose Police Department, says she is considering joining the quilters guild and start quilting. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO
Samantha Fitzgibbon’s The Raven Queen doll did not qualify for the doll show. But she brought her original creation anyway to the 31st annual Manteca Quilt & Doll Show at MRPS Hall Saturday.

It was the only moveable non-entry part of the show. Fitzgibbons carried her Raven Queen, which exceeded the length required for entries, along with a doll in progress – “she’s a nobody yet,” she said – as she joined the throng of people that came to simply admire and perhaps get some project ideas from the dozens of original creations on display, or to purchase old or new quilts and other quilted items from the vending booths featured this year.

Mother Nature blessed the day with a mild weather, sans the sun or a droplet of rain, which encouraged two-generation and even three-generation families to come out and enjoy the show.

“We had a lot of people today,” said Judy Quiner who is sharing chairperson duties with husband Bob for the second year in a row. Next year, they will take a back seat and enjoy the show in a more relaxed manner when Janet Dyk, guild former president, will take over the reins.

Booth exhibitor and vendor Sandra Newcomb was also happy with the visitor traffic on Saturday, particularly at the This-n-That booth she shared with fellow guild member Peggy Treat. Even the antique and vintage home items that they used primarily for backdrop enhancement – small tole-painted end tables and Dutch chairs, antique embroidered pillow cases and table cloths, and old glassware containers accented with ruffia – flew out the door just as fast as the quilt fabrics that they had on sale.

Newcombe said the show always attracts a lot of quilting aficionados as well as the amateurs and would-be quilters because “it’s easier to go to a quilt show instead of doing a quilt run because we have a lot of variety here, plus you save gas.”

The quilters’ boutique is always a popular destination for visitors who are looking for great bargains and one-of-a-kind quilt purchases such as handbags, totes and a variety of quilted wearables. But one item joining the new ones this year was a hundred-year-old quilt made out of various tweed fabrics that were sold at one time at a store in Berkeley which went out of business a long time ago. The quilter even included in each block the silk tags attached to the fabric which contain information such as where the fabric came from. The unique quilt was quickly snagged by Dyk who was attracted to the piece because some of the fabrics came from Scotland, her family’s old country.

Other show attractions that were constantly busy all day were the tables for the quilt and doll opportunity drawings where tickets were sold for a buck apiece, or six for five dollars, and a table where visitors could try their hand at sewing a quilt piece and in return received a ticket that was put in a box for a drawing. The winner will go home with the quilted piece.

Those who want to have their antique, vintage or collectible quilts appraised may also bring them to the show for a professional appraiser to assess for insurance purposes. This is a new feature of the show this year.

This year’s featured artist, Jan Truscott, also had a busy time all day talking to visitors who wanted to ask questions about her original creations that included a pair of stunning Catherine de Medici and Josephine Bonaparte gowns that she made for her daughter who teaches French in Kentucky.

The show continues today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. General admission is $10; it was $7 for those who bought tickets for both days.

MRPS Hall is located on Grant Avenue between Center Street and Yosemite Avenue in downtown Manteca.