Piecing together art and hobby: Quilters Guild brings QuiltFest to Oak Mountain Midde

PELHAM &8212; Oak Mountain Middle School hosts the Birmingham Quilter&8217;s Guild QuiltFest 2007 this weekend, June 22-23. The 22nd biennial event promises yards of fabric, demonstration opportunities and a few extra textile treats.

Organizers agree the highlight of the show is &8220;The Supper,&8221; a 17-by-9-foot quilted reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci&8217;s painting. A retired Texas dentist spent more than two and one-half years, or 1,200 hours, just piecing the quilt out of more than 51,000 half-inch squares made from 350 different fabrics. It took an additional three weeks to sew it.

&8220;When you back up away from it,&8221; said guild member Carolyn Tolbert of Birmingham, &8220;you see all these fabrics blending together to be the supper, and it&8217;s amazing that he could work with these tiny little pieces of fabric and put them together to recreate this wonderful work of art.&8221;

More than 300 guild-member projects, including art quilts, wall hangings, bed quilts, clothing and home d/cor items, will also be on display with some available for sale.

&8220;One of the interesting things that we&8217;re having in our show this year is a section that we call First Quilt, and it&8217;s actually the first quilt that was made by different members of the Birmingham Quilters Guild,&8221; Tolbert said.

Another category on display contains 12 &8220;challenge&8221; quilts, said member Doris Miller, who lives in unincorporated Shelby County. Small groups within the guild create these from challenges they extend to each other, such as only using red fabrics or a certain theme, she said.

As part of the guild&8217;s mission of education, members will offer free demonstrations during the show on topics ranging from fabric postcards to T-shirt quilts. The guild has also planned giveaways and a silent auction to benefit women&8217;s cancer research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham&8217;s Comprehensive Cancer Center.

&8220;I think anybody would enjoy the show because just about everybody has had a quilt in their lives,&8221; Miller said.

The fund-raiser for the non-profit group, runs Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 1-5 p.m. Admission for the show is $5 per person; children age 5 and under are free. There is no charge for parking. Guests should enter the school at the gymnasium entrance.

For more information, call 647-2711 or visit www.bhamquilters.com