The handiest of all

Alice Turner did her family proud by winning ribbons for each of her three quilt entries at the L.A. County Fair, plus a Best of Show for one of them.

It was the first time the La Crescenta resident had entered the fair’s competition.

“My husband has been telling me to enter for a few years, but I haven’t done it,” she said. “I think he was more excited than I was.”

“We kept telling her to enter,” Jim Turner said. “Last year, we tried to enter but it was too late. This year, we were determined to get her in.”

Her husband secured the entry form and made her fill it out, he said.

“We drove it out to the fair and went back after the fair opened, but we didn’t see anything,” he said. “I found the first blue ribbon and the second blue ribbon. . . I’m glad the kids and I shamed her into showing her wares and showing everybody how good she is at it.”

But seeing the Best of Show honor was more exciting for Alice Turner.

“I don’t think I’ll ever get one again,” she said.

She has been quilting since 1972. She is a member of the Glendale Quilt Guild, which meets monthly at the Glendale Central Library, and produces a three-day quilt show in Burbank every March.

For her Baltimore Album Sampler quilt, she won first place in the hand-quilting category and Best of Show over all other quilts that were hand-quilted. It also won the Founders Award (first place) last year at the guild’s show.

It took a year to finish, she said, and was appliqued and quilted by hand.

“I like to make different kinds of quilts, so this was my version of the Baltimore Album Sampler,” she said.

For her hand-quilted Hawaiian quilt, she won first place in the applique category. The pattern is a Hawaiian print in batik floral on a light peach background.

“It’s a whole cloth, and I took another fabric with cutouts and placed it on the whole cloth and appliqued a Hawaiian design around it,” she said. “The edges are scalloped.”

The quilt won the Founders Award two years ago at the Glendale Quilt Guild’s show.

Earning three honors one’s first time out at the L.A. County Fair is a real accomplishment, said Evelyn Young, a fair employee who is assigned to the tapestry department.

“She did two quilts in an applique style,” Young said. “The lines are really straight, which is really an attractive, nice-looking job. It took me six months to do my hand quilt, so I can appreciate the time and effort people put into hand-quilting.”

Those who want to see her quilts have until Sunday, when the fair closes, Young said.

The final ribbon Alice Turner won at the fair was second place for a quilted coin purse. This one took only a couple hours to make, and she sewed it on the quilting machine, she said. It’s a patchwork quilt in varying shades of blues.

Also pleased with Alice Turner’s showing at the fair was Heidi St. Royal, of Burbank, who is president of the Glendale Quilt Guild.

“That’s super,” St. Royal said. “She’s a real great gal. I’m so proud of her getting these awards.”

Alice Turner started quilting when she was raising her children.

“It was a way I could occupy my time and still be home,” she said. “It’s very creative. You use the material you pick out. You can do almost anything and make up your own pattern. There is definitely a creative process cutting material and putting it together again.”

She’s made quilts for all her family members.

“I have four girls, and they have one or several quilts,” she said. “My sisters have quilts.”

Now she’s working on creating the Opportunity Quilt for the drawing at the quilt guild’s annual show.

Her husband is her biggest fan.

“I’ve been to every quilt shop, from coast to coast, and Alaska and Hawaii,” Jim Turner said. “The only reason she hasn’t been to quilt shops in England or France is because we haven’t been there yet.”

The hobby keeps her busy, Jim Turner said.

Their house is filled with quilts, and everyone gets a quilt for their birthday or wedding day.

There is one drawback, he said.

“I can’t get her to sew a button on a shirt,” he quipped.


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