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Mural quilt part of 30th annual quilt show
Manteca artist Jessie Marinas’ award-winning “Grape Harvest” mural hangs on the wall inside one of the rooms at the Manteca Senior Center where this Portuguese cultural class was being held Wednesday. The mural will be among those on display at the Manteca Quilters’ 30th Anniversary Quilt Show this weekend. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO


• WHAT: Manteca Quilters’ 30th Anniversary Quilt and Cloth Doll Show
• WHEN: Saturday, March 7, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, March 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• WHERE: MRPS Hall, 133 North Grant Street just off East Yosemite Avenue
• TICKETS: $7 each; children 12 and under free (Strollers on Sunday only)
• INFORMATION: (209) 825-4832

The Manteca Quilters’ 30th Anniversary Quilt and Doll Show this weekend will have as many highlights as a patchwork quilt.

A few will be more fascinating than most. One of them will be a pair of mirror-image original works called “The Grape Harvest.” And their joint appearance will be a first not only for this show but for any other quilt show anywhere in the country.

The double attraction consists of the original mural painted by Jessie Marinas of Manteca whose work captured the judges’ nod during the Artists Showdown Competition for the California Public Art and Mural Symposium held in Manteca about two years ago, and its quilt twin made by Lynn Drennen in collaboration with fellow award-winning quilters Marilyn J. Smith and Gina Perkes. Like the oil mural painting, the quilt is also measures 8 feet by five feet.

Marinas’ captivating painting of John Leandro’s vineyard on South Airport Way right next to Big League Dreams has spawned a series of winning streaks for its quilt rendition as well. In October when it made its debut at the Pacific International Quilt Festival, the quilt won second place in the “innovative quilt” competition. It is also currently featured in the Quilting Arts Magazine’s February/March 2009 edition. That was followed suit by a Best of Show award at the Road to California Quilt Show in Southern California.

This may be the only time both the quilt and the original painting that inspired it are appearing on the same stage. Marinas, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts but earned a living by working as a commercial designer for more than three decades in the Bay Area before he retired, has never painted a mural before took part in the mural competition. “The Grape Harvest” was his first painting in 35 years. A footnote to the painting: all the field workers in the picture are Marinas’ self portraits, with the exception of the man on the extreme right. The man is the vineyard’s owner, John Leandro, whom Marinas wanted to honor and “immortalize” for allowing him to use his vineyard as the backdrop for his mural.

Marinas said he is looking forward to be at the quilt show this weekend and to see the fabric art work that was inspired by his mural.

The other big attractions at the quilt show this weekend, besides the nearly 200 quilt displays and cloth dolls, include an appearance both days of nationally known quilter Alex Anderson who is also the featured artist. She will be there both days to meet other quilters and to answer questions.

In honor of the guild’s 30th anniversary, Anderson has also offered as one of the opportunity drawing prizes a private whole-day quilting class for the winner and two friends at her studio, with the class subject to be chosen by the winner. She will even provide the lunch, said Judy Quiner who is helping coordinate the show along with her quilter husband Bob.

In addition to being a quilter, Anderson has also written books about quilting, designed fabrics, and most recently, used the Internet to teach people worldwide how to quilt through her quilt show, Simply Quilts, which she hosted for 11 years. She is currently co-host and co-producer of The Quilt Show with Ricky Tims, a program offered on the Internet which is described as “an interactive web site featuring full production programming and connecting quilters worldwide.” The web site is

The two other major prizes to be drawn at the show are an opportunity quilt titled “Simply Divine,” designed by Nicole Chambers and made Pegi Treat, and an Opportunity Doll named “Chelsea” created by doll artist Donna Perry.

Tickets for the drawing will be available both days of the show at $1 each or six for $5. One need not be present to win.

Along with the large collection of quilts at the show will be hand-made dolls and bears, as well as wearable quilts, wall hangings, and needle art.

Visitors will have an opportunity to purchase various original handmade items as well as quilting materials at the ever-popular Boutique and Grandma’s Attic as well. Featured will be original works by Manteca Quilters members. Refreshments catered by Main Street Cafe  will be available both days.