Riverwalk Quilters Guild Celebrates 25 Years

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Riverwalk Quilters

The Riverwalk Quilters Guild of Naperville is celebrating 25 years!

“There is a storytelling always in quilting. Each story here in our show has a very near and dear, heartfelt story attached to it. And all of us are proud to share them,” said Carolyn Lauing Finzer, a member of the guild.

This group of ladies started out when a number of them noticed there was no group like it, so they started their own.

Charter Member Loraine Nemo has been there from day one, witness to how the guild has changed throughout the years.

“Quilting, I think when we started was popular but very traditional. And I think in the last 25 years a number of different styles have emerged,” said Nemo.

Artists and Styles

There’s hand, machine, and longarm quilting today. And the art of it continues to evolve.

“It is an old art form that is still thriving today, in new ways. So our soft form of art can be wearable, it can be hangable, it can be on a bed keeping someone warm. There are just so many venues in quilting,” said Finzer.

Quilters, fiber artists, or contemporary artists, no matter how they identify themselves or what style they prefer, quilting is about what it means to each member.

“And now I got to work with it and create something and see how it turned out and it was really neat. And so I was taking a pattern, instead of doing what I’m told, I could do it how I wanted it and change it up,” said member Tracy Husch-Lissak.

“For me, having something in my hands and the tactile nature of that and being able to think while I sew, that’s really important. And I actually get the chance to travel and teach, so I get to encourage other people to be creative,” said Catherine Redford, a member of the guild.

Quilt Show

The group puts on a quilt show every three years to showcase the art of what is now 90 members. 2019 marks their silver anniversary, and the celebration of a new show, which featured about 300 pieces this year.

“I think it’s great to show people that quilting is alive. It’s not just what they think of from 200 years ago. We can do all sorts of different quilts,” said Redford.

Although quilting is about the process for some people, it’s also about the sense of community that comes with it.

“I’m here for the relationships. I think anybody can stay at home and sew and quilt and watch YouTube,” said Chairman Rosemary Sanza. “But we are people who want to come out and be with each other.”

It’s many hours of work, but the final result is worth it.

Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.