Seattle World’s Fair fabric used for quilt to be auctioned

CAMANO ISLAND — Oodles of souvenirs were made 50 years ago for Seattle’s Century 21 World’s Fair.

Pam Fredericksen found one a few months ago in a cupboard at church. It was a piece of cotton print fabric, a colorful depiction of the Space Needle titled “Come to the Fair.”

Fredericksen looked online to see if she could learn anything about the piece. Somebody was selling a similar swatch of fabric for nearly $500.

She and her fellow Cama Beach Quilters need money to make the quilts used in the cabins at Cama Beach State Park. Fredericksen offered up the fabric as the centerpiece of a quilt now for sale in a silent auction Saturday at the quilt group’s third annual outdoor quilt show at the park. The finished quilt is suitable as a wall hanging or as a crib quilt. Bidding begins at $100.

“Evidently, the fabric is rare. We figure that people originally bought the material to make gathered skirts. How it got in the closet at church is a mystery,” Fredericksen said. “We used some colorful fabric around it and now it resembles a stained-glass window. We hope that the quilt finds a good home with someone who has fond memories of the fair.”

About 10 years ago, the 22-member Cama Beach Quilters had its beginnings when the volunteer group organized to make quilts for the state park, a former 1930s-era fishing resort. The quilters made the tops and bottoms of hundreds quilts and, for awhile, the state bought the batting and paid someone to use a long-arm quilting machine to sew tops and bottoms together.

When state money no longer was available, the quilt group began raising funds to have the quilts finished. They sell all sorts of quilted creations at the gift store at the state park and are able to raise money from the sale of quilts at the annual outdoor quilt show. More than 50 bed-size quilts are to be offered for sale. People also can buy $1 tickets for a chance to win a raffle quilt called “Cama Beach Stars.”

“We have to support our habit,” Fredericksen said. “We sell new and used quilts and replenish the supply for the park.”

The Cama Beach Quilters’ Outdoor Quilt Show is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Cama Beach State Park, 1880 S. West Camano Drive on Camano Island. The event also includes a sale of cookbooks and quilting-related items, including instruction books, tools and fabric, along with activities for all ages and an antique quilt presentation. The show is free, but a state parks Discover Pass is required for parking.

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