LACONIA — The 37th annual Harvest of Quilts of the Belknap Mill Quilters Guild will be held on Saturday and Sunday, October 4 and 5 at the Lake Opechee Inn Conference Center.
The featured quilters for this year's Harvest of Quilts show, are Mary Boutin of Gilford and Marlene Morin of Laconia. Both are avid quilters exploring and perfecting their techniques resulting in articles that reflect their dedication. In recognition of their skill, they are named featured quilters for the Belknap Mill Quilters Guild's 37th annual Harvest of Quilts, the major fundraiser for the guild which awards scholarships and supports local charities.
Both Boutin and Morin, quilters since the 1980s, came to love the craft as an extension of their personal early sewing experiences. Boutin learned by expert example from her mother and grandmother in how to read a pattern, use a sewing maching to make clothes, how to knit and do needlepoint. Then sixteen years ago, her sister encouraged her to try machine quilting, so Boutin took her first class in 2004 with Stephanie Drake through the Laconia Adult Edcucation Program.
"After that class, I was hooked. I enjoy making all types of quilts although my preference is to make wallhangings," she said. "I have always sewn between everything else. It has always been my therapy and relaxation."
Morin's interest in quilting is also the result of sewing. In her case, she began to sew in 1964 making clothes as the mother of three sons. She taught herself quilting by assembling and sewing squares. Collecting the ski lodge bandanas of her ski racer son, she sewed them together as quilts.
"My ski racer son now has a quilt of both East and West areas that we actually use when we stay at his home in Vermont," she said.
She took her first lessons to learn patchwork quilting after being bored with putting squares together and the time cutting templates with scissors, handpiecing and handquilting them. Accompanying her husband when he worked in Moscow, Russia, for two years beginning in 1994, she brought along enough fabric and patterns to make four quilts.