Children display their decorated umbrellas during the Umbrella Parade in 2011. This year's parade will begin at noon Saturday. Lonnie Archibald/for Peninsula Daily News

Children display their decorated umbrellas during the Umbrella Parade in 2011. This year's parade will begin at noon Saturday. Lonnie Archibald/for Peninsula Daily News

WEEKEND: All about different ‘covers’: Forks celebrates RainFest with umbrellas, quilt shows

FORKS — When it’s raining hard out, cuddling up under a quilt is a natural response.

The pairing of wet weather and quilts will be feted this weekend in Forks at the RainFest, a three-day festival celebrating the famous Forks rain and featuring the town’s signature Umbrella Parade.

The annual Forks parade will begin at noon Saturday, rain or shine, but in Forks, that usually means rain.

Preparation for the parade will begin at 10 a.m. with an umbrella-decorating workshop at the Peninsula College Forks Extension site, 71 S. Forks Ave., where the Umbrella Parade will begin and end after it moves up and down Forks Avenue.

The parade celebrates the 10 feet of rain — or more — that Forks receives every year.

The umbrella-decorating workshop will provide both decorations and umbrellas, unless children want to provide their own umbrellas, said Pat Soderlind, parade organizer.

Each member of the parade will receive a free certificate for an ice-cream cone at Sully’s Drive-In and a certificate for participation.

Two quilt shows are planned in addition to the presentation of the mammoth 15-foot-wide, 6-foot-high Supper Quilt, a traveling quilt that has been displayed in 22 states and five countries.

Supper Quilt

Created by Donald E. Locke, a dentist from Waxahachie, Texas, the Supper Quilt is a quilt replica of “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci.

The Supper Quilt will be on display from noon to 6 p.m. today, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at Congregational Church, 280 S. Spartan Ave.

Locke will talk about how he created it at a presentation at 12:30 p.m. Sunday at the church.

The quilt was made by blowing up a photograph of da Vinci’s artwork until it “pixillated” and recreating each pixel color in a 1-inch fabric square.

This is its first visit to Washington state.

Admission to both the display of the quilt and the lecture is by donation.

Because of its size, the quilt will be displayed at the church across from Forks High School, where the Piecemakers Quilt Club will display a large selection of handmade quilts.

Piecemakers show

The Piecemakers Quilt Club will display up to 150 quilts from noon to 6 p.m. today, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at the school’s auxiliary gym at 261 S. Spartan Ave.

The theme, as always, is “Fabrics of the Forest,” but the quilts are varied.

One is made entirely of “Twilight” T-shirts, said Marcia Yanish, president of the Piecemakers.

“You can’t get these T-shirts anymore,” Yanish said.

She added that T-shirt quilts, which were popular in the 1970s, have experienced a revival since the 2010 release of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1,” one of a series of movies based on Stephenie Meyer’s best-selling novels set in Forks.

Yanish quoted the January 2011 edition of American Quilter magazine in saying that T-shirt quilts have grown in popularity thanks to a scene in the movie in which heroine Bella Swan’s mother makes her one.

The “Twilight” quilt was created by Sharon Buckner of Forks, Yanish said.

Some of the quilts will be for sale, she added.

Also at the “Fabrics of the Forest” show will be a vendor booth for the American Hero Quilters that will provide a taste of what can be seen at the Forks Peninsula College Extension site.

American Hero Quilters

The American Hero Quilters will display 15 quilts from noon to 5 p.m. today, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Extension at 71 S. Forks Ave.

The American Hero Quilters will provide information about the organization as well as display a wide variety of patterns — all made of American red, white and blue fabrics to comfort wounded soldiers.

Quilts on display at Peninsula College’s West End Extension will be shipped to Afghanistan field hospitals to be given to wounded soldiers being prepared to be evacuated from combat areas, Yanish said.

The quilts on display were created by members of the Port Angeles chapter begun by Sam Coyle, she added.

Readers Theatre will tell how American Hero Quilts founder Sue Nebeker of Vashon Island began the effort to bring a bit of comfort to wounded soldiers by providing quilts to Madigan Army Medical Center at Fort Lewis in Tacoma.

“American Hero Quilts: The Story” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Extension site in Forks, with tickets $12 per person or $20 for two people.

Tickets are available at Chinook Pharmacy, 11 S. Forks Ave., or at the door.

All proceeds will go to the nonprofit American Hero Quilts.

For more information, visit

Quilting lecture

A special lecture on quilting and a trunk show is planned from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. today at First Baptist Church, 651 S. Forks Ave.

Michele Crawford, the Tacoma creator of Flower Box Quilts, an online store at, will present “Just Cut the Scrap.”

Crawford, who has designed more than 4,000 quilt patterns, will talk about the art of quilt-making and display some of her creations.

Admission is $15 at the door.

Crawford also is conducting three classes: a crumb quilting class from 8 a.m. to noon today for $40, a Mystery Charm quilting class from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. today for $40 and an all-day class on the Calypso quilt design from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday for $75.

All are at First Baptist Church.

Classes aren’t filled, but participants need a supply list available from Karla Lewis, who will be at First Baptist Church today.

Quilts and umbrellas aren’t the only features of RainFest.

Lecture, film

Chris Cook, editor of Forks Forum, will discuss the 1808 SV Nikolai expedition at 6:30 p.m. today at JT’s Sweet Stuffs at 120 S. Forks Ave.

Also today, the Port Townsend Film Institute and Peninsula College will present the film “Inuk” — about an Icelandic Inuit boy — at 7 p.m. at the Peninsula College Forks Extension site.


Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at

Managing Editor/News Leah Leach contributed to this report.

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