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Highland Lakes quilt festival Feb. 3-4

Highland Lakes Quilt Guild

Thirty-two members of the Highland Lakes Quilt Guild put in 1,255 hours cutting, stitching, and assembling this year’s donation quilt for the quilt festival on Feb. 3-4 in Burnet. This year’s festival and donation quilt theme is 'Hill Country Jewels.' Courtesy photo

For the first time in three years, the Highland Lakes Quilt Guild will once again host its biennial quilt festival. This year’s show is from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Feb. 3-4, in the Burnet Community Center, 401 E. Jackson St. 

Visitors can vote on their favorites among the more than 100 quilts on display, participate in a silent auction, shop at a variety of vendor booths, and enter for a chance to win a quilt. Admission is $7. Children under 10 get in free. 

Proceeds fund several community projects, including scholarships for women returning to school, quilts for Habitat for Humanity family members, storybook quilts for school libraries, and Cryotherapy mitts and anti-ouch and kangaroo pouches for breast cancer patients. The guild also supports the Burnet County Area Fair and has supplied several quilts for local organizations, including The Falls on the Colorado Museum, the Old Burnet County Jail, and the Marble Falls Visitors Center. 

“We depend on raising money to keep all this going,” said Cary White, the guild’s public relations chair. “Most of the quilters donate a lot of fabric and time. The rest comes from the festival.” 

This year’s theme, Hill Country Jewels, is reflected in the colorful queen-size donation quilt that will be given away at the end of the festival. A core team of about five guild members designed the quilt, while another team worked on the appliqué border. Each of the 32 blocks was sewn by a different guild member. 

“A lot of it was made during COVID,” White said. “Because of the pandemic, we had quilters who cut out the pieces and packaged each block in a Ziploc bag. We took them to quilters’ homes and left them on the doorstep.” 

Known for their affinity to work together as a team (thus, the historic term “quilting bee”), the Highland Lakes Quilt Guild ( took a hit during the social separation months of the pandemic. Member numbers dropped to around 60, White said. 

“We are back up to over 100 members now,” she continued. 

Quilters are drawn to the camaraderie, creativity, and community involvement, said festival chair Mary Kay Otto.

“I love seeing all these pieces come together to make something unique,” she said. “Even if you use a pattern someone else has made, you invariably change it up to make your own. No two quilts are ever the same, no matter who does them.” 

Come see what the fabric artists of the Highland Lakes have created and maybe win your own “Hill Country Jewels” quilt.