Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008

Quilters cozy up to national semifinals

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A group of county women recently scrapped their way to the semifinals of competition in the Eighth Annual American Quilter's Society Quilt Expo, to be held this week in Nashville, Tenn.

Michele Barnard and Kathy Barton of Gaithersburg, Suzanne Brown and Ellen Robinson of Germantown, Karen Moss of Laytonsville, Marie Quattrociocchi of Rockville, and Nancy Colladay and Coralyn Colladay of Kensington, along with Juanita Canfield of Cincinnati, Ohio — all members of the Friendship Star Quilters of Gaithersburg — submitted eight quilts as a group entry in the guild category. The entry was one of 17 in the "Ultimate Guild Challenge" to advance to the semifinals, out of 59 total entries.

Each quilter was given four randomly-assigned colors indicated by paint chips, and had to use three of the four colors in their quilts, as well a "recognizable amount" of a specific black-and-white fabric, said Colladay, vice president of Friendship Star Quilters.

The quilts took five to six months of preparation, and the challenge was in making the best of the assigned colors, no matter what they were.

"Some colors really didn't seem to go well together, and one poor gal ended up with three shades of grey and a yellow! And she's one of the ones going on to Nashville," Colladay said.

The result was an opportunity to "really have freedom to express our creativity," Colladay added.

The quilts will be on display at the expo, among more than 280 distinguished quilts from 42 states and 10 countries. It is the fourth time in six year the Friendship Star Quilters have had entries accepted into the show, but the first for some of the women.

"Oh my God we were so thrilled," Colladay said. "To even be accepted at a show of the American Quilter's Society's stature is an honor."

To see the group's entry, visit www.friendshipstar.org and click on "chip off the old paint bucket" results. To learn more about Friendship Star Quilters, see the Web site or call Nancy Colladay at 301-530-1872.

More cinema

under the stars

Pack up your beach blanket and head over to the lawn at Strathmore Hall next week for the 12th annual Comcast Outdoor Film Festival, scheduled for Aug. 15-24. Movies will begin at 8:30 p.m. nightly, but come early for a picnic with goodies from vendors including Baja Fresh, Potomac Pizza, Hard Times Café and Ben & Jerry's! The grounds open at 6:30 p.m. and food will be on sale throughout the festival. A portion of the proceeds from food and drink sales benefit the National Institutes of Health Children's Charities.

Upcoming films are: "Evan Almighty" tonight, "Twister" on Thursday, "Transformers" on Friday, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" on Saturday, and "Shrek the Third" on Sunday.

Parking is available at the Metro garage located at the Grosvenor Metro stop off Tuckerman Lane. SmarTrip cards are required by Metro to exit the garage and will be available to purchase at the event. Please do not park in the surrounding residential neighborhoods.

For more information, call 301-816-6958 or visit www.filmfestnih.org.

Broadway star to perform at KAT fundraiser

The Kensington Arts Theatre (KAT) will hold its seventh annual fundraising gala on Saturday, featuring select numbers from Broadway musicals and selections from past KAT productions.

The event will be hosted by Diego Prieto, who starred in KAT productions of "Side Show," "Cabaret," "Closer Than Ever," "The Rocky Horror Show" and "Company."

Brad Oscar will also perform at the fundraiser. He originated the role of Franz Liebkind in the Broadway production of "The Producers," and received a Tony nomination in 2001 for his performance.

Oscar succeeded Nathan Lane as Max Bialystock for more than 1,200 performances on Broadway, according to KAT officials.

Oscar grew up in Rockville and started his theatrical career in Adventure Theater, Rockville Musical Theatre and Montgomery College Summer Dinner Theater.

He is currently starring in "The Mystery of Irma Vep" at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.

The evening will also feature a dinner buffet, a silent auction and other fundraisers.

For more information on the gala, visit www.katonline.org.

Back to school memories

What was it like the first time you (or your kids) boarded the school bus and left summer behind? How long did it take you to pick out the perfect back-to-school outfit? Do you have a plan for getting the best deal on school supplies? Tell us about it!

The Gazette wants to hear all your back-to-school memories, from first-day jitters and disasters, to making fast friends with your desk- or office-mate. Montgomery County Public Schools open Aug. 26, so send us your photos and share your memories by Thursday.

Photos and stories will be considered for print and online. E-mail us at memories@gazette.net or write to The Gaithersburg Gazette, 9030 Comprint Court, Gaithersburg, MD, 20877.

This column is for you. Share your good news! Feel free to send press releases and news tips. Contact Jen Beasley via e-mail at jbeasley@gazette.net, phone at 301-280-3006, fax at 301-670-7183, or snail mail at 9030 Comprint Court, Gaithersburg, MD 20877.