ILWACO - Tired of the relentless gray of winter? Then give your eyes a feast of color this weekend at the 11th Annual Quilt Show at the Ilwaco Heritage Museum.

Already firmly established as a Lewis and Clark hotspot, the area is also becoming well known as a beehive of activity for quilters and their artwork. This year the quilt show gives a nod to the famous travels and their expedition with a theme of "Ocian Still in View."

Each year a quilt is raffled off at the show to raise money for charity. The title of this year's raffle quilt is "The Corps of Discovery," designed by Karen Snyder, who's store, Anna Lena's Quilt Shop is sponsoring the event along with the Peninsula Quilt Guild. Last year's quilt, "Dresden Plate," raised more than $2,000 for local charities. Tickets for the raffle are only $1, and admission to the show is free.

"These things do help our community," said Melinda Crowley, publicity chairperson for the guild. The guild has demonstrated that commitment in many ways. Crowley said she expects fewer quilts to be on display this year, about 92 compared to the more than 100 last year, but there is good reason for that slight drop.

"I think so many of the girls gave quilts to Katrina [relief efforts]," she said. In September, the guild shipped off more than 160 quilts to hurricane ravaged areas. Currently, the guild has about 60 members, and continues to grow. Several industrious members will have multiple quilts on display at the show.

Crowley expects the quality of the show to be just as high, if not higher, than in the past. There will still be a wide range of displays, ranging from vintage quilts with "turkey-red" thread designs, to modern quilts with contemporary patterns. As before, attendants can cast votes for their favorite. Last year's peoples choice winners will be on display in the tearoom, where complimentary tea and scones will be served. A recent addition to the show, the tearoom is likely to become a tradition.

"The first time last year was so successful we decided to have it again," said Crowley. The tearoom will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday when the winner of "The Corps of Discovery" quilt will be announced.

Once again the show will also feature the "challenge block," with people voting on their favorite block or pattern. The blocks will then be assembled into a quilt and donated to the Ocean Beach Education Foundation's fundraising auction.

All these activities, as well as demonstrations of quilting techniques, will take place throughout the weekend. The show will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

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