A show of quilts at the Florida International Museum at St. Petersburg College provides an array of colors and designs that tantalize the eyes.
Beyond absorbing the visual experience of the more than 100 quilts on exhibit, visitors may also get a tactile sense for what it is like to create one of these pieces of fabric art. Younger visitors, that is.
On Friday and Saturday, local quilters Barbara Kellard and Bonnie Ward hope to inspire children to adopt the craft. "Kids & Quilts" will give children 5 and older an opportunity to make a reading or travel pillow.
Kellard, who has been quilting for more than 40 years, said children will work on a 12- by 16-inch pillow and be able to choose the applique they put on their creation. They'll learn how to stuff it and stitch it closed and may take it home or pass it along as a gift. The activity is free to children visiting the museum.
"They'll see how simple it is to do," said Ward, who has been quilting for 21/2 years. "Maybe when the kids go through the quilt exhibit, they will see some of the appliqued quilts and go aha, this is how they did this."
The children's quilting workshop is one of three exhibition-related offerings this week.
For anyone looking to have a quilt appraised, certified quilt appraiser Brenda Grampsas will be at the museum on Friday offering verbal and written appraisals for a fee.
On Saturday, Marlene Glickman will present "Mini Quilts in a Shoebox," a program that traces the evolution of quilts from the traditional to fiber collages. She will demonstrate the technique she uses to design and color fabric for collage work, like creating fog and shadows using hand-dyed sheers.
"Contemporary artists are experimenting with fiber and quilt techniques, even men," said Christine Renc-Carter, the associate curator for the museum.
"There are many nuances in the world of quiltmaking that makes it an extraordinary art form. A common object becomes decorative and beautiful," Renc-Carter said.
The exhibit is composed of two shows in tandem, "Rooted In Tradition: Art Quilts" and "Sew — It's Art!"
The former features quilts from internationally known artists and quiltmakers that are on tour from the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden, Colo.
"Sew — It's Art!" is a selection of the finest quilts in the Tampa Bay area. Because quilting can be a means of self-expression, many quilts tell personal stories.
"Everyone has a story about a quilt that has touched their life in some way. It is relatable to many different audiences because of the rich tradition behind it and the endless possibilities it has incorporating history and art," Renc-Carter said.
Gem, Jewelry and Bead Show and Sale: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $4 (good for all three days); free for kids 15 and younger. Visit stpete.org/coliseum.
Vibe: The electronic music festival stops in St. Petersburg. 1 to 10 p.m. Vinoy Park, 598 Fifth Ave. NE. Visit vibe-tampa.com for tickets.
AMP@620: The fun open-mike event features poet Blu Bailey.
8 p.m. Studio@620, 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. $5. Call (727) 895-6620.
Gulfport tree lighting: With music, refreshments and luminarias. 7 p.m. Clymer Park, at Gulfport Boulevard and Beach Boulevard. Free; luminarias extra. Call (727) 893-1118.
Kenny Rogers: The singer will be joined onstage by singers from Gibbs High. Patrons are asked to bring a nonperishable food item for America's Second Harvest. 8 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $49.75-$79.75. Call (727) 892-5767.
This Wonderful Life: A stage adaptation of Frank Capra's classic holiday film. 7:30 p.m. American Stage, 163 Third St. N, St. Petersburg. $26-$45 depending on day and time. "Pay-what-you-can" nights are tonight and Dec. 22. Call (727) 823-7529.
Love! Valour! Compassion!: Staged reading of the play by Terrance McNally benefits Metro Charities and Suncoast AIDS Theatre Project. 7 p.m. Studio@620, 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. Pay what you can. (727) 895-6620.
Coffee with a Dali curator: Scheduled: Joan Kropf, "Dali: Gems." 10:15 a.m. Salvador Dali Museum, 1000 Third St. S, St. Petersburg. Included with museum admission. (727) 823-3767 or visit salvadordalimuseum.org.
Big Bang Show: Local talents compete for a $1,000 grand prize. 7 p.m. NOVA 535 Art Lounge, 535 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N, St. Petersburg. $10 advance, $15 at the door. Call (727) 821-6682 or visit nova535.com.
St. Petersburg Power and Sailboat Show: More than 400 boats on display. Kids get tips on fishing and a free rod, reel and tackle set, and adults can enjoy the "Floating Cocktail Barge." Noon to 6 p.m. Also 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 4 and 5. Mahaffey Theater Yacht Basin, 400 First St. S. $10 adult at gate, $8 online; kids 15 and younger and active/retired military free. Call 1-800-940-7642 or visit showmanagement.com.
First Friday Art Walk: Stroll the Gulfport Art District, south of 28th Avenue, on Beach Boulevard. Free trolley rides, pet friendly. 6 to 10 p.m. Free. (727) 322-5217.
Perpetual Groove: Performs with the Heavy Pets. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $12 advance, $15 at door. Call (727) 895-3045.
'Still No Room At the Inn' Carol Sing: Carolers walk and sing at area shelters and finish at Straub Park. Rides provided back to cars. 7 to 9 p.m. beginning at ASAP Drop-in Center, 423 11th Ave. S, St. Petersburg. Call (727) 823-5665.
Handmade Holiday Bazaar: Show and sale of funky, crafty things by 40 local artisans. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fiberologie, 411 15th Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Free admission. Call (727) 895-1294.
Holiday Hoopla!: Open-air shopping with vendors, music and Santa. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Downtown Gulfport, Beach Boulevard area. Call (727) 322-5217.
Happy Holidays Family Art Studio: Create wrapping paper, cards and clay ornaments. 1 to 4 p.m. Morean Arts Center, 719 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $10 per family. Visit theartscenter.org.
The Chocolate Nutcracker: Presented by the Life Force Cultural Arts Academy. 2 and 7:30 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $17-$37. (727) 216-3519 or mahaffeytheater.com.
Treasure Island Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting: Parade starts at Paradise Boulevard at 5 p.m., ends at community center, Gulf Boulevard and 106th Avenue, with Santa, elves, Jack Frost, more. Free. Call (727) 547-4575.
What the Dickens? Another Christmas Carol: 8 p.m. St. Petersburg Little Theater, 4025 31st St. S. $20, $10 students. Call (727) 866-1973.
'Rooted In Tradition: Art Quilts' and
'Sew – It's Art!'
When: The exhibit runs through Jan. 10. Special events on Friday and Saturday.
Where: Florida International Museum at St. Petersburg College, 244 Second Ave. N, St. Petersburg.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Last entry at 4 p.m. daily. The museum is closed Mondays and on major holidays.
Admission: Adults $8, seniors (62+) and military $6; groups and students $5; free for children 6 and younger.
Information: (727) 341-7900 or spcollege.edu/fimuseum.