The Harlan UMC biennial quilt show organized by Blessed are the Piecemakers Sewing Group and held on April 8 & 9 had all the attendees seeing pink. 93 quilts were on display from wall hanging size to full size quilts. Judges Shirley Spindler, Rose Spindler and Lois Wenkheimer had their work cut out for them and they deemed Phyllis Crawford’s quilt titled “It’s a Child’s World,” the quilt that best exemplified the theme “Pink the Color of Spring.”
Talking to Phyllis I learn she started hand-piecing and quilting in the early 1980s. About 15 years ago she got her first embroidery machine and started embellishing quilts with machine embroidery. Last year she saw a pattern in a quilt magazine that she thought would be fun to use as a jump-off point to make and add creative embroidery to it to make it her own. So she purchased Cactus Punch embroidery pattern for redwork and went to town adding little children in the blocks: Children at play. Yo-Yos were added to the corner blocks to add another dimension to the quilt. When Phyllis learned the theme of the show, she knew this quilt would be her entry. Phyllis was very humbled by the comments her quilt garnered.
There was another display of 38 quilts made for Project Linus. Project Linus is named after the Peanuts character known for his attachment to his blanket. The organization has chapters all over the world where blankets and quilts are made and distributed to children in hospitals, shelters, social service agencies, or anywhere a child might be in need of a big hug. The colorful Linus blankets would sooth and bring comfort to any child in distress. Since 1995 the organization the “Blanketeers” have made over 5,850,380 blankets! Go to www.projectlinus.org to learn how you can get involved with the Fort Wayne/Northeast Indiana Chapter.
For the second time, I was asked to be involved with the show’s special program. This year the committee decided to have a bed turning. Several people brought in quilts and laid them out on a bed. After watching the local PBS Focus IN Arts segment on Born Again Quilts which discussed in part how to date quilts and discern from them information about the maker, the program begins. The range of quilts went from the last quarter of the 19th Century to the 1950s. A Marie Webster French Basket quilt (1914) a red/white four block quilt from the late 1800s, a two-color double Irish Chain, a scrappy wedding ring quilt were among those shown and examined for their workmanship, quilting techniques, designs, makers and current issues with their condition. It was an educational and fun time to reconnect with not just these quilts, but hopefully to go home and view their own quilts with a new prospective.
Whether you attended this show or missed it, plans for their next show in Spring 2018 are already underway. “Flowers of Spring” will be the theme, so take a nod from Phyllis and start planning now to enter the show. Invite your friends too. All proceeds benefit the church’s mission work.
Lois Levihn is the owner of Born Again Quilts restoration studio and vintage quilt gallery. The studio is located at 4005 South Wayne Avenue. It is open from 5:30-7p.m. on Wednesdays and 9-2p.m. on Saturdays, or by appointment. Go to www.bornagainquilts.com for more information.