“Pieceful pieces” was the theme of this year’s Maumee Valley Antique Steam & Gas Association’s 28th Annual Quilt Show. The exhibit included traditional and modern designs featuring intricate piece work and both hand and machine quilting.
The week prior, quilt show coordinator Peg Miller stops by Born Again Quilts to pick up a few quilts to exhibit and shares with me that both her younger “middle sister” Carolyn and their step-father Roland Kyle who raised them had died in June of cancer just weeks apart turning her world topsy-turvy.
When Carolyn was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer the family knew her earthly time would be short and so started the process of saying goodbye while staying strong in their faith knowing she was in God’s loving hands. Carolyn a certified master gardener shared her love of flowers with her Bakers Acres customers and it was in her own garden that her last photo was taken. With her hands reaching to the heavens, sunlight beaming down with an expression of pure joy on her face surrounded by her floral beauties she seems to be saying, “Take me Lord. I’m yours!”
Like Peg and youngest sister Sharon, Carolyn was a quilter. In 1977 she starts making a folded star quilt. This is a type of quilt technique that falls in the “other” category like yo-yo quilts. There is no batting, it isn’t stitched through layers, it is simply fabric folded into triangular shapes and overlapped creating a circle. For each ring the fabric changes hue giving the star its signature look. Most quilters make small ones to use as hot pads or frame in an embroidery hoop, but not Carolyn’s. Carolyn liked to dream big and over the decades she would add more rings growing her star with its browns and deep reds giving it a Native American feel.
As Peg sews the backing on the quilt Carolyn is on her mind. She takes solace knowing her sister who so eagerly reached for the heavens just a few weeks earlier is at peace.
At the quilt show Carolyn’s quilt is the winner of the “People’s Choice” award: A fitting tribute to the woman who is now among the stars.
Lois Eubank owner of Born Again Quilts 2005 South Wayne Ave. is a 2013 recipient of a façade grant through the City of Fort Wayne.