This month the Alpine County Library in Markleeville has a quilt display that is well worth your time.
Fabric artist Terrie Peets agreed to hang several of her quilts for display in the library and brought a scrapbook with photos of several others she made. Some are adorned with prize-winning ribbons and all are a credit to her artistic flair with color and design as well as her skill with sewing.
"My first quilting class was a gift from my grandmother. We hand-sewed all the pieces, and I learned how to cut the fabric correctly and the basics of color and design," Peets explained.
Peets continued, "In high school, I used my clothing budget to buy fabric to make my own clothes. The first bed-sized quilt I made was my own design and I used scraps from all my hand-made clothes. You can see how it was a beginner's quilt because there are puckers and mismatched seams."
Quilting took a back seat to raising her two children with husband Dave Peets, who has been the county assessor since 1989. Peets also has worked full time at the school district in Human Resource and Administrative Service.
As the family grew, Peets started making quilts for her friends' events and then their babies, and later for her own children as they went off to college.
About five years ago, she took a class at the quilt shop in Gardnerville and has been devoting many of her weekends to quilting.
Now she has a room in her home devoted to her art, complete with a dresser full of fabric that she collects during family trips and sometimes purchases specialty fabric online.
She also has a felt board that she uses for trying out various colors and shapes to make the most pleasing compositions.
Peets added, "Around four years ago I moved outside my comfort zone and started learning how to do landscape quilts, also known as artistic quilts. I truly love the idea of painting with fabric and making my own patterns or designs."
Currently, Peets is working on a quilt entitled A Walk around Markleeville. She and her husband live in downtown Markleeville and routinely walk around the town. She loves the walk and the town so much that she decided to make a quilt in honor of the town.
Typically, she takes a photograph of the object she wants to render on her quilt and has a photography shop enlarge the photo in black and white to the size she wants to place on the quilt. That way she has both the color in the original photo and the tones and shades from the black and white photo to make an accurate fabric painting.
There is a stone wall near her home that she said, "I just love. So when I wanted to get the gray stone colors just right, I ended up buying fabric from England where there is so much stonework that they have more selection of grays."
When I asked her how long she spends making a quilt, she replied "It takes months. I like to spend time just looking at the colors and composition. Then I set aside time on the weekends for the cutting and sewing."
The Markleeville project is due for completion in June because Peets plans to enter the quilt in a national competition to be held at Carson High School on June 9 and 10. There will be over 250 quilts in the contest and it is open to the public for a small entry fee. The prize money is substantial, with a total of $20,000 to be awarded among several judged quilt mediums.
The Carson Valley Quilt Guild is sponsoring the event. There is a raffle to benefit high school scholarships, and the prize is a beautiful hand-made quilt. To see a photo of the quilt that is being raffled off, go to cvgg.com. To purchase raffle tickets, contact Peets at (530)694-2992.
To view Peet's quilts, visit the Alpine County Library on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.