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Quilt show's featured artist stitches award-winning work

It's not your grandma's quilt
By: Joyia Emard/Loomis News Staff Writer
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Betty Cavallucci, a Loomis Quilt and Fiber Guild president, does not make quilts like her grandma did. Instead, she stitches up award-winning textiles, loaded with embellishments, that celebrate special occasions. Her works of art, along with her grandmothers’ quilts, will be featured at the guild’s upcoming Quilt Show on April 25 and 26 at the Blue Goose Fruit Shed. Both of Cavallucci’s grandmothers quilted, back in the days when scrap fabric was used to create colorful spreads meant for the front porch swing or for covering a bed. Now, Cavallucci has a sewing room in her home dedicated to her art. The walls are lined with see-through drawers containing hundreds of yards of material, organized by theme and color, along with sewing notions. The textile artist spends a lot of time in her special room. “I sew something every day. It’s a form of self-expression,” Cavallucci said. The retiree estimates that she has sewn 200 quilts over the years, with no two the same. The quilts are given as gifts or auctioned off for charity, never sold. Her home is bedecked with special-occasion commemorative quilts and others that are special to her. In her sewing-room closet, neatly stored, are dozens of quilts, too precious for her to part with. When asked how many hours she puts into each quilt, Cavallucci, who has been sewing for 50 years, said, “Some quilts take a week to make, some take 10 years.” At any given time, she may have 20 quilts in progress. Some partially made quilts languish for years, awaiting further inspiration or because the fabric ran out before completion. Cavallucci said quilters call them “UFO’s” – unfinished objects. According to Cavallucci, she started sewing her doll’s clothes when she was young and eventually made all of her own clothes. She said she was always artistic and dabbled in painting, drawing and ceramics before discovering quilting. Cavallucci took a quilting class 20 years ago and discovered that it encompassed her love of color, sewing, and designing. When Cavallucci and her husband, John, moved to Granite Bay in 2001, she said she had no social network. She attended the first meeting of the newly formed Loomis Quilt and Fiber Guild and became a member and has made “life long friends.” She is now serving as the club’s president and teaches quilting classes. The guild has 110 members and includes quilters of all experience levels. Cavallucci said they all share a “love of fabric, fiber and creating.” The group meets at 7 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month at Loomis Memorial Hall. As a service project, the guild members make lap- or crib-size “cuddle quilts” that are donated to individuals and organizations in need. The group use the quilt-show proceeds to purchase materials for the cuddle quilts. The quilt show will feature antiques and older quilts along with 100 new quilts, which have never before been shown. Cavallucci will be machine-quilting during the event and there will be a children’s corner, where kids can choose fabric, arrange it and watch as a quilt maker sews it together for use in a cuddle quilt. A number of Cavallucci’s quilts will also be on display. For more information go to loomisquilt.org. SOMETHING OLD & SOMETHING NEW QUILT SHOW When: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 25, and 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 26 Where: Blue Goose Fruit Shed in Loomis Who: Loomis Quilt & Fiber Guild Admission: $5, husbands free