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The Northwest Quilting Expo kicks off this Thursday, Sept. 27, for a three day event at the Portland Expo Center

Don't miss the Northwest Quilting Expo special section that appeared in all issues of the Pamplin Media Group's weekly newspapers the week of Sept. 17.

The public will have the chance to enter a quilter's paradise Sept. 27-29 at the Northwest Quilting Expo at the Portland Expo Center. In its 18th year of showcasing talented artists at the largest indoor quilt show, the venue offers an extensive array of quilts, special exhibits and classes taught by skilled instructors.

"We have teachers and instructors from Canada to San Francisco," said Geri Grasvik, founder of the NW Quilting Expo. "Portland is a hub for one of the most creative influences in the quilting world."

With more than 500 quilts on display — from antique to modern — there are also more than a dozen classes offered by featured instructors Libs Elliott, Rosemary Burris, Sujata Shah, Ellie Lum, Jen Carlton Bailly, Mathew Boudreaux, Pam Raby, Sheila Sinclair Snyder and Christina Cameli.

This one-of-a-kind quilting expo aspires to provide a fresh perspective to the quilting industry every year.

"I'm beyond excited to be teaching both my Flowermania English Paper Piecing and Improv Flower Classes at the NW Expo this year," said Mathew Boudreaux, also known as Mister Domestic. His quilting business, "Mister Domestic, is all about spreading joy and positivity through sewing and fabric play and this is the environment that I try to foster in my classes."

Unique this year are the new trends that have been sewn together from the antique building blocks of historical quilts. From hand-crafted bags to embroidered wonders, to painted quilt blocks, the modern twist is sure to engage all types of sewers.

"We are in a journey of transitioning in our industry however, we still want to honor the past because that's where our roots are, but taking it to a new level — an artistic form of expression," Grasvik said. "We love to sew and we love to create but we want to do projects that are outside of the quilting realm as well. For example: totes, backpacks and things that involve leather-like materials to make utility items. We also want to capture images of animals in an artistic fabric form — playful and realistic as well."

Special exhibits this year include works from the renowned Studio Art Quilters Association, the Latimer Textile Center in Tillamook, Sandy Sciarrotta's Kimona Exhibit, The Storytellers, and the Contemporary QuiltArt Association to name a few.

There will also be two local quilt artists featured — Evelyn Booney and Sandy Arbuthnot — who will share their quilting journey. Want to buy a quilt? Sandy has some of her work for sale!

In "The Money Quilts" exhibit, Virginia Hammon — a Portland quilter and author of "U.S. Money" — illustrates her book through more than one hundred quilt blocks in a collection of quilts. Feel free to join Virginia and do some hand work on blocks that will go into one of her quilts.

"Voices of CQA" will display individual members' works to increase interest in contemporary quilts. Each of the quilts will express the artist's inspiration and process.

The variety of classes will also offer a diverse set of lessons.

With featured artist Jen Carlton Bailly, quilters can learn different patchwork methods, uncover how to create unique secondary designs through block placement and use multi-size curves to stitch together for an original design or elect to make a colorful flower quilt during the one of three classes she's offering.

Featured artist Christina Cameli is teaching four classes focused on wedge quilting and free-motion quilting.

Be sure to sign up for this great opportunity to take a class from a popular author.

"I'm very proud of where we've come. We started in a small venue in Washington County and believed in our industry; believed in the power of the Northwest creativity and have been able to nurture the growth of Expo," Grasvik said. "I look forward to sharing the most exciting expo that we've been able to present to the public and that we look forward to continuing to grow the premiere event that it currently is."

For more information about the Northwest Quilting Expo go to www.nwquiltingexpo.com

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