Quilters in Canada, the U.S. and Europe have participated in the Row by Row quilting competition, and Williams Lake resident Mareike Moore recently won by racing her completed project to Dancing Quilts in 100 Mile House.
“It’s so fun,” she said.
“You walk into any quilting store and pick up a free pattern, you sew eight row by rows into one quilt, and the first person to bring it to one of the participating stores wins.”
She said you can purchase a kit with fabric in it, or take the pattern home and use your own fabric.
“You can sew on appliques or use paper piercing; I added black fabric between my rows and an outside border,” she explained.
Although she picked up her Row by Row pattern in Williams Lake, she found out they already had a winner, so she phoned Dancing Quilts in 100 Mile House and found that she still had a chance.
“I sewed every day after work and during my lunch and was allowed to leave work early to go turn in my project at Dancing Quilts,” she said.
“I was really nervous that someone else would win while I was driving down there.”
She won fat quarters (25 pieces of fabric) and a pattern book, and said that her quilt is hanging in Dancing Quilts on display until October.
Moore has been quilting for about two years.
“My mom used to have a sewing machine when I was little, but I never used it and never showed any interest. I moved here from Germany two years ago,” she explained.
“Ibea’s Quilting had a table runner class, with a machine I could use and I was probably the slowest sewer ever. The language was so unfamiliar, but I liked it so much!
“I bought the machine I first sewed on, built a sewing table and got started — I got started with quilts.”
Since moving here, she said she’s discovered she’s really quite creative.
“I love wildlife photography and painting, and quilting really grabbed me. I like getting a product out of it,” she continued.
“You can be so creative with quilting; you can change up the colours and the patterns and you can make them up yourself.
“I create my own patterns with scraps, for example. You could take any stencil, or anything you’ve drawn yourself and add it to a table runner, wall hanging or quilt.”
She said before coming to Canada she worked as a manager at a food company — long hours with no time for anything else.
“I ended up walking part of the El Camino in Spain and it changed my life,” she said.
“I realized there was more to life than work. It took me a year. I decided to spend three months in Canada doing farm work and ended up at a farm in Alexis Creek. I liked it and decided to stay; I got a job and got married.”
Moore said her mom back in Germany loves that she sews.
“She shows pictures of my projects to all her friends,” she added.
“I gave her a table runner, custom made to fit her table.
“I hear all the time that I’m pretty young to be a quilter, and hear it even more in Germany,” she said.
“I love the creativity of quilting — love using bright and beautiful colours.”