Arts & Entertainment

Quilt pieced together by hands across the world

If you've never paid a visit to the annual The Tri-City Quilters Guild show, which is March 27-28 at the Three Rivers Convention Center, this might be the year to check it out.

Besides a payload of beautifully crafted quilts, there will be one, designed and created by four women, that traveled around the world a couple of times before it was finished.

Lilian Decena of Kennewick came across several blocks of cloth that she wanted to use for a quilt. But the blocks had a dotted design on them that required some embroidery so she recruited her aunt, Jan Westlake of Tortosa, Spain, to help.

"My aunt does exquisite embroidery," Decena said. "So I sent the (24) blocks to her to embroider."

It took Westlake about 18 months to finish each block of cloth with a design that required 12 color themes. And, each of those color schemes had four different shades of each color.

To keep her interested in the arduous project, Westlake would wrap each color scheme of threads in paper towels and grab one at random.

"I would then make myself use that color in some way," she said. "It certainly kept me interested in what I was doing."

When Westlake finished embroidering the blocks, she shipped them back to her niece in the Tri-Cities.

Then Decena and her mom, Leslie Gomez from Caracas, Venezuela, sewed the panels together. Ann Jenson of Richland added the final quilting touches, which required sandwiching batting between the top and bottom layers of the sewn squares then hand stitch it all together.

All four women were pleased with the end result, and titled the quilt art Dancing Ribbons. It will be on display at the show.

"I was delighted to see the end result," Westlake said when she arrived in the Tri-Cities this week and saw the finished quilt. "It's just lovely."

Though Decena learned to quilt from her grandmother as a young girl, it wasn't until she moved to the Tri-Cities a few years ago and took a quilting class from Jenson that she honed the craft.

"Ann has been a wonderful teacher," Decena said.

Jenson has been teaching quilting in the area for more than 40 years.

The Quilt Show is from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 27-28. Admission to the show is $5 at the door.

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; doneal@tricityherald.com

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