Bonita exhibit examines past, present and future of quilting

San Diego People of Color Quilt Guild’s Gloria Hazel. (Courtesy)

Running through Sept. 23, the Bonita Museum & Cultural Center’s “Quilting, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” showcases quilt groups in the South Bay and East County. Quilters from the San Diego People of Color Quilt Guild, Chula Vista Quilt Guild, Eastlake Rolling Hills Ranch Quilters, and the Sweetwater Woman’s Club Quilters are participating in the exhibit. The exhibit runs Wednesday through Saturdays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

The exhibit allows visitors to try their hands at machine piecing in the Today and Tomorrow sections, and hand quilting in the Yesterday section. On Saturdays there are boutiques selling quilted items and quilt related items made by SWC Quilters. Several quilts have been donated including those that will be raffled each Saturday and the one quilt that raffle tickets will be sold for the run of the exhibit. Money earned at the boutique will go to the SWC Quilter’s and the Sweetwater Woman’s Club’s Scholarships accounts.

SWC Quilters Weighs and Means chair and curator of the exhibit Linda Matlock said a quilter from many years, she began a quilt group from the Sweetwater Women’s Club, starting out making quilts to donate for community events.

“I found so much excitement among the women in the group, especially new members,” she said. “So, I started teaching lessons at the clubhouse.”

Matlock began volunteering at the museum with children as they came through the tours and thought it would be a wonderful idea to have a quilting exhibit.

“I wanted old quilts, but I also wanted new quilts,” she said. “We have some old quilts. Some of them are 100 years old and belonged to my grandmother and other people’s grandmothers. Then we have quilts that women have done in their own lifetimes. Then, we have quilts that push the limits of what quilters do with avant-garde techniques. Those are all represented here, including two quilts made by a woman who is showing the symbols the quilt blocks that were used during the Underground Railroad times, which showed slaves where to go, and what they needed.”

Also, on Saturdays there are presentations by the people who made and loaned quilts. Each Saturday will have a different line up of speakers. Presentations will be at 11 a.m., noon, 1p.m. and 2 p.m. Learn about different aspects of quilting from techniques used a hundred years ago and those used today.

The last day of the exhibit, Sept, 23, coincides with the Twilight Trail Ride of Bonita Fest so the museum will be open until 8 p.m. The trail ride begins and ends at the museum.