For years now I’ve made it a point to attend the annual Maumee Valley Antique Steam & Gas Association Show held East of New Haven on the third weekend of August.
This year’s quilt show drew entries from Allen County and neighboring states. There was such a variety of both vintage and modern quilts, larger bed size and wall hangings, kit quilts, traditional and modern designs. Some of the quilts were hand pieced, embroidered, and appliqued, and others were created and quilted entirely by machine. No matter what techniques were used, they all reflected the creativity and passion of their makers.
This show didn’t have judges going around inspecting the quilts on their workmanship and creativity; rather they were judged solely by the visitors who voted for their top three favorites. This year I attended early Friday morning, with my brother Richard in tow. It was a challenge to narrow my choices down to three, and I wondered if others agreed and voted for them too. Apparently not. I called the Quilt Show Chair Brenda Schuller after the show, who informed me the 108” x 108” cross stitch medallion quilt was the biggest favorite, followed by the Lone Star (Texas Star Bethlehem Star) quilt in shades of brown, and a cross stitch rose quilt. The Carolyn Gerig Memorial Award quilt was a wall hanging comprised of Disney fabrics, created by Sheri Baatz which seemed reflective of Carolyn and her love of whimsy and color.
One of my top three was a 58” x 86” beautifully embroidered kit quilt with flowers and butterflies. Running, lazy daisy, French knots, outline, and satin stitches made up the design. The blocks were donated to the St. Peter Lutheran Church (Fort Wayne) Ladies Aid Society quilt group by a friend of a friend of member Theresa Donovan. Theresa assembled the blocks, using a dark green fabric that matched the dark green in the block to sash them all together. Seven ladies quilted around the flowers, stems, butterflies, and close to the edges over a period of four months. Quilting around the objects made it unnecessary to mark the blocks. The result was so beautiful! Anyone, even in the worst of moods, would be hard pressed not to be lifted by it. The quilting was so nice and even, these ladies would put synchronized swimmers to shame!
The St. Peter’s Ladies Aid Society’s quilting tradition goes back to its founding in 1934 when the Rev. Henry Abram was pastor, and his wife Minnie were integral in forming the group. Today’s members are just as enthused about their quilt work as the many women who sat around the frame before them.