So often when we try new things whether as an individual or a group, the outcome is a crapshoot. After months of planning, advertising, blood, sweat and tears the big question remains: Will people attend our event and when that event is held in little Monroeville the odds for success are even more dubious.
Well for the members of the Pieceful Quilters the answer was a resounding Yes! When I left the show over 100 people had signed the guest book and left terrific feedback. Flipping through it I saw addresses for Fort Wayne, Harlan, Hoagland and other surrounding towns. The quilts were nicely hung and the ladies were very accommodating with their gloved hands turning quilts for a backside view.
The People’s Choice awards went to Carole Sorg, Hoagland for her hand-quilted Sorg Heritage 1837. Carol Johnson, Monroeville was first runner-up for her machine quilted “Fancy Frolic” and Lois Weber, near Hoagland was the second runner up for her hand quilted Basket of Pansies quilt. All are to be commended for their artistry and technique.
I meet Carole and her husband Ron on whose family the quilt is based. Ron’s family has been on the land since 1837 and although the original cabin may have been replaced by a home that later burns down to the current home, the family and love remains through eight generations. This quilt pays homage to all of it. Carole starts telling me the symbolism and the nuances of the quilt: On the top left is a 26 star symbolizing the flag first flown on the land on July 4, 1837 when it was purchased from the government. The 50 star flag in the opposite corner first flew on July 4, 1960.
The quilt has photos of three generations of wedding photos, the homes, tractors, and family pets surrounding St Joseph Catholic Church Hessen Cassel founded in 1857.
The family barn block includes a spider above the bales of straw on the wagon. Carole sewed each bale separately and stacked them crookedly not by design its just the way they turned out, just like they did for her no matter how hard she tried to stack them straight.
There are four trees of life in the quilt: One represents Ron’s parents family tree, another Ron and Carole and their children, the third one is their grandchildren and the last is the great-grands. One of the grandchild tree limbs sports a tire swing in loving memory of “Little Ron” who was called home by his Lord and Savior at an early age.
How many of us woke up in the morning to WOWO Radio and Nancy Lee and the Hill Toppers singing about the little red barn down on the farm in Indiana? For farm folk it was important to listen to what Bob Sievers and Jay Gould had to say so they could plan their day accordingly…
Everywhere you look on the quilt is a bit of whimsy to take you back to “the good old days”. It isn’t surprising it touched so many who viewed it and named it their favorite.
When asked if they would consider doing another show, based on their reaction to the comments and their enthusiasm I suspect this may become an annual or biennial event. Congratulations for a job well done! Who knows? Maybe Carole will have created an “update quilt” to pick up where this one left off. She’s thinking about it: the gears are already turning… Stay tuned.
Lois Levihn is the owner of Born Again Quilts located at 4005 South Wayne Ave. You can contact her at email@example.com 260-515-9446.