Quinobequin Quilters Guild exhibits over 100 quilts in Needham

for West - 29wearts - Image by Kelly Savignano of Needham. (Cheryl Mountain)
Cheryl Mountain
A quilt by Kelly Savignano of Needham.

Valarie Poitier of Natick has an unusual opinion about quilting.

“Every woman should have a quilt that has something to do with her hair, because we spend so much time on our hair,’’ she declared.

Every woman most assuredly does not have such a quilt, but Poitier does; she designed one called “Bad Hair Day.’’ It will be among more than 100 pieces on exhibit Friday and Saturday in Needham at the biennial show and sale by the Quinobequin Quilters Guild.


Poitier made her first quilt for her daughter’s layette; that was more than 40 years ago.

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“I usually quilt in response to something that happens in my life,’’ she said. “All my quilts tell a story.’’

By profession, she is a painter and weaver; she says that the art of quilting combines all of these other skills.

Nancy Weinreich
A quilt by Kelly Savignano of Needham.

“I can paint on fabric to make a quilt. I can weave pieces of fabric. I can crochet. All of my other kinds of art can go into my quilts,’’ she said.

The Quinobequin Quilters Guild comprises about 100 women who run the gamut in age and quilting experience, according to longtime member Jane Evans of Needham. “We haven’t been able to get any men to come to our meetings,’’ Evans noted.


The group meets monthly in Wellesley to compare projects, discuss techniques, and hear about innovations in the art of quilting. In addition to making pieces individually, members collaborate on a Comfort Quilt project, in which they make quilts for donation to charitable organizations. Recently, several of their quilts were given to children in foster care, said Evans. The group also made a quilt for a Habitat for Humanity house in Needham last year.

People find their way to the art of quilting in a variety of ways, said Evans.

Many guild members learned to sew in childhood. Not Caroline Blair of Wellesley, though; she learned to sew so she could make pageant costumes for her church. Once she had learned the basics, she decided to try quilting, attracted by its liberal use of vivid colors and geometric shapes. Blair has eight entries in this weekend’s show; it generally takes her three to six months to complete a quilt.

Nancy Weinreich
A quilt by Nancy Weinreich of Westwood.

Evans says that quilting is far less structured than in the past. As an example, she cites the show’s raffle quilt, which was designed by a guild member to make use of hand-stitched appliquéd blocks.

“If you did a quilt like this 25 years ago, you’d give everybody fabric and a pattern and have all the quilters make identical blocks,’’ said Evans. “You don’t see so much of that anymore.


“Instead, for this one, Kathy Whelan designated colors: pale yellow for the background, shades of dark red and lighter red, four shades of green. Every quilter’s block will be slightly different. So when it’s all sewn together, it has a very lively appearance.’’

That description also fits an entry by Kelly Savignano, a fifth-grade teacher from Needham. The group regularly comes up with challenges, themes on which each participant is invited to interpret in their own way. When they did a challenge with music as its theme, Savignano designed an image of jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald for her quilt.

“I like to work in a variety of fabrics,’’ said Savignano. “Another piece I have in the show is a turtle quilt done in brightly colored batiks. I’m very picky and buy my fabric according to a project or a vision. I don’t mind hunting for a long time for the right fabric.’’

The quilts will be on exhibit Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Masonic Lodge, 1101 Highland Ave. in Needham. Admission is $5; children are admitted for free. Visitors will be invited to vote for their favorite quilts. Several vendors will be present, selling fabric, quilt patterns, and tools. Children can try out the scavenger hunt, searching for specific shapes, patterns. and symbols on the quilts.

For more information, go to www.quinobequin.org.

HERE TO STAY: Sign of the Dove Gallery, a collaborative of 60 artists working in pottery, jewelry, clothing, painting, photography, glass and other media, has long functioned as a seasonal shop operating over the holiday season, with its only permanent location in Cambridge.

On Sunday, the gallery’s second year-round location opens at the Mall at Chestnut Hill, 199 Boylston St. (Route 9) in Newton.

For more information, call 617-965-0167 or visit www.signofthedoveco-op.com.

LUCKY 12: Ben Rudnick & Friends, celebrating its 12th year as a band and working on its 12th album, will add a special twist to its performance of children’s music Sunday at the Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St. in Arlington.

The concert begins at 3 p.m., but those who arrive between 2 and 2:30 p.m. can participate in a Family Works event, a crafts activity to benefit children’s charities. Families are encouraged to donate new birthday party supplies and toys.

Tickets are $10 for adults; $8 for children and seniors; $7 for Regent members. For details, call 781-646-4849, or go to www.regenttheatre.com.

STAGE EVENTS: The Harvard Schools Trust holds its 23d annual Spring Dinner-Theater Gala on Saturday. The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with a production of “Love in the Twilight Zone’’ by the Bromfield Drama Society at the Bromfield School, 14 Mass. Ave. in Harvard. The performance will be followed at 7:15 p.m. by dinner and a silent auction at the Fellowship Building, 7 Elm St. Tickets are $50. Call 978-456-5085, or visit www.harvardschoolstrust.org.

The Arlington Friends of the Drama opens its local community theatre premiere of “Grey Gardens,’’ the story of Edith Bouvier and Edie Beale, the eccentric relatives of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, at 8 p.m. Friday at 22 Academy St. in Arlington. Weekend performances will continue through April 15, including a discussion with the cast and crew after the 4 p.m. show April 1. Tickets are $25; for details, visit www.afdtheatre.org or call 781-646-5922.

SCREEN CLASSIC : The Friends of the Marlborough Public Library will wrap up its Friends Classic Film Series at 2 p.m. Saturday with “The African Queen,’’ starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn, and directed by John Huston, at the Marlborough Public Library, 35 West Main St.

A discussion will follow the free screening; for details, call 508-481-7118 or visit www.mpl-friends.org.

LITERARY LIGHTS: The Maynard Public Library presents the inaugural Maynard Book Festival starting at 11 a.m. Saturday as part of this year’s Maynard Reads Together program.

The event will include writing workshops featuring children’s author Julie Berry, syndicated columnist Terry Marotta, and authors Jane Brox, Roland Merullo, and Margot Livesey at the library, 77 Nason St.

Also, Richard Russo and Andre Dubus III will take part in a discussion, “The Stories We Tell,’’ at 3:30 p.m. at Union Congregational Church, 80 Main St. in Maynard.

The festival is free, but registration is required for the workshops. For a complete schedule, go to www.maynardpubliclibrary.org. Register at the library, or call 978-897-1010.

BENEFIT ‘DREAM’: Noted area pianists Leslie Amper and Randall Hodgkinson will perform Felix Mendelssohn’s music for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream’’ for two partly staged performances of the play with a full cast directed by Bradford Conner at 4 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday at First Parish in Bedford, 75 Great Road.

Tickets are available online at www.uubedford.org, with a $2 discount before Friday. Suggested donation at the door is $20, or $15 for seniors and students. The proceeds will benefit the North Shore Alliance of GLBT Youth and the Mass. Transgender Political Coalition.

Send ideas to westarts@globe.com.