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At the end of February, hundreds of quilters from around the state will gather in Tucson for the 42 annual Quilt Fiesta, an event that combines fun, education, and community into a memorable weekend experience.

The Tucson Quilter Guild’s Quilt Fiesta, which takes place Feb. 21 to 23 at the Tucson Convention Center, is an opportunity for people to share their affinity for quilt-making and sewing with events and activities that promote and celebrate the craft.

The event includes an adjudicated quilt show, where people can enter their favorite quilting projects to compete against others. The quilt show includes categories with a variety of criteria combinations that include small, medium, and large quilts crafted by one person, two people, or groups; hand-quilted or machine-quilted; and primarily pieced or primarily appliqued.

Another popular feature of the Quilt Fiesta is the Small Quilt Auction, established as part of the Tucson Quilter Guild’s charitable activities. Guild members and friends of the Guild create and donate one or more small quilts—not to exceed 100 inches around the perimeter—in any color or pattern they desire. The quilts are either sold immediately at a “Buy Me Now” price or distributed to the highest bidder in a silent auction at the conclusion of the show. All proceeds from the Small Quilt Auction will be donated to EMERGE! Center Against Domestic Abuse, a Tucson-based nonprofit agency that provides a wide range of emergency services and resources for victims of domestic abuse.

Thanks to Kids Row, the Quilt Fiesta is also an exciting opportunity for young craftspeople to exhibit their work and show off the “generational vitality” of the craft, according to the Guild. All the quilting creations must be done by children 17 or younger, although adults can help with binding and provide guidance and assistance appropriate for the age of the child.

Additionally, professional quilt appraiser Joyce Larson will be available throughout the Quilt Fiesta to appraise attendees’ quilts. Larson, a fourth-generation quilter with more than 40 years of quilting experience, is a member of the Professional Association of Appraisers/Quilted Textiles (PAAQT), the American Quilters Society (AQS), and the Arizona Quilt Documentation Project. She also was inducted into the Arizona Quilters Hall of Fame in 2017.

The Quilt Fiesta will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 21 and 22 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 23. The Tucson Convention Center is located at 260 S. Church Ave. Admission is $10 for one day or $20 for a three-day pass. Tickets are available for advance purchase from Guild members or during Guild meetings, but they also can be purchased at the door.

To gear up for the 2020 Quilt Fiesta, visit Cathey’s, a one-stop-shop for sewing classes, supplies, and products in Tucson, Arizona. Cathey’s also will be running several “Handi Quilter Hands-On” workshops throughout the Quilt Fiesta to enhance the educational experience for attendees who love to sew and quilt. The workshops will cover a range of topics, including basic background designs, longarm quilting techniques, and machine maintenance and repair.

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