The pun isn’t lost in the name “The Carquinez Strait Stitchers." With a roster of over 90 members who form a cross-section of ages and abilities, the guild, established in 1984, is clearly serious about fiber arts. While the focus is on quilting, members are also weaving together relationships and building community through meetings, workshops, speakers, programs, activities, exhibitions and philanthropic endeavors.

At the upcoming exhibit at Benicia Library’s Marilyn Citron O'Rourke Art Gallery, Material Matters, seven women will showcase their unique works of art in an appealing range of styles. Using fibers, fabric, wool, string, threads and more, functional and wearable art will be on display as well as “paintings,” collages and applique, all made from fiber.

Fan Lady Collage

Jan Redesky


Kathy Manifold

“We are a small, but friendly guild, meeting in Benicia, and all levels of expertise are welcome. Annual membership dues are $25,” says Jan Radesky, one of the guild’s founding members. According to the group’s informative website, the guild’s stated purpose is to “encourage members to share skills within the group, provide educational workshops, enjoy fellowship with other quilters and share knowledge with the local community. To that end, one of the guild’s activities is the UFO Challenge. Nothing to do with aliens, members with Unfinished Fabric Objects are encouraged to bring them in where items are selected through a random process for the group to finish together. Completed projects enjoy a show and tell moment at the next meeting.

The Carquinez Strait Stitchers guild has been reaching out to quilters for over 21 years. Locals have come to know the guild through its popular Spring on the Straits biannual quilt show at the Benicia Clock Tower. The May 2015 show featured approximately 150 quilts, both traditional and contemporary. This November’s Material Matters show kicks off November 24 and runs through January 9, 2016, with an artist’s reception December 6. Exhibiting artists are Anne Petty, Kathy Manifold, Linda Hubbard, Jan Radesky, Margaret Linderman, Nancy Freeman and Susan Lane.

Front Coat

Margaret Linderman

Fabric Boxes

Linda Hubbard

Waved Fused Collage

Susan Lane