BY DENNIS WYATT
Sandra Hadley has found the perfect way to relax — quilting.
“It lets my brain go and empties my mind to get rid of stress,” the Manteca resident said.
Hadley’s stress relief technique has the added bonus of allowing her to produce a repertoire of quilt art from wall hangings to creations you can wrap yourself in on a chilly night to stay warm.
Hadley is a member of the Manteca Quilters Guild. The club’s membership includes quilt devotees from throughout San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties as well as the foothills.
She is in charge of this year’s 37th edition of the guild’s annual Manteca Quilt and Doll Show. It takes place March 5, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and March 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Building 1 at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds in Stockton. Admission is $7.
The show typically draws entries from throughout the western United States running the gamut from quilts, wearable art and wall hangings to dolls and handbags. Besides numerous handmade creations on display, the show features vendors specializing in quilting products from throughout Northern California.
Hadley was selected as the featured artist for last year. The selection committee was struck by her “gorgeous” modern contemporary quilt designs.
And while some may not associate the concept of “modern” with a centuries old craft, Hadley noted there has been a growing trend lately of younger people taking up quilting.
“I do see more quilters in their mid to late 20s as well as men quilting,” Hadley said.
The Manteca Quilters meet once a month on the fourth Thursday at the McFall Room of the Manteca Library on Center Street.
They welcome all whether they are experienced quilters or someone who wants to learn about the art form.
“Everyone has a different journey to quilting,” Hadley noted.
For her, she said it was a simple journey.
She was at the Alameda County Fair years ago when she came across a group quilting in the old-fashioned way using a large frame with a group of women stitching.
As she was admiring their work, one woman — quilter Elizabeth Cunning — stood up and asked her to sit down, put a needle in her hand, and gave her a few simple instructions and she was on her way.
She was surprised to find the act of stitching was a great way to chase away stress.
“Quilting helped me to learn how to relax,” she said.
For information on the Manteca Quilters Guild or the upcoming show contact Hadley at 209-239-3961 or Jennifer DeLong at 209-610-1245. You can also go to www.facebook.com/mantecaquiltersguild.