Quilt at Spring Garden Elementary could use a few more helpers

NEIGHBORS

January 27, 1993|By PAT BRODOWSKI

Are you a quilter? Or wish you were? Quilt needles are flashing through a queen-sized quilt at Spring Garden Elementary School, but they could use a few more nimble fingers.

The fourth-grade art students are sewing a white-on-white quilt. It's a style that depends upon stitchery to reveal the designs. These ambitious students designed the quilt with 42 different drawings they've made of Maryland symbols.

They are welcoming help from the community. Volunteer mothers with no previous experience dove in to get the project started. Terry Lettau organizes volunteers and materials. Karen Chilcoat spent whole days copying images from paper to cloth. Kim Peake sewed the top together.

Master quilters from the community have visited to show the art class how a quilt is made. They keep returning to help. Their dedication is giving the students something besides a quilt -- a vital link with older generations.

Lots of mothers and grandmothers now gather daily with the students around the quilt frame. Children who had never held a needle have learned how enjoyable it is to sew while listening to stories from grandma's day. Their art teacher, Jan Van Bibber, says, "It's developing into an important thing. They keep asking, 'When can we work on the quilt?' "

Quilting takes place daily, Tuesday through Friday, in the art room. Art classes for other grades proceed while the quilting JTC party keeps stitching, from the Baltimore Oriole to Chesapeake Bay retrievers.

In the art room today you'll find Nancy Ogletree and Anna Ray Hunter, quilters from the Carroll County Farm Museum, dropping in for their third Wednesday visit.

Pauline Folk also will be happily stitching. Mrs. Folk arrived weeks ago from the North Carroll Senior Center to stretch the quilt with Mary Brilheart and, it seems, hasn't been home since. Anna Leister, the great-aunt of Spring Garden teacher Loretta Basler, also will join the group today.

You can stop in to chat or you can join in the fun. There is room for three or four volunteers at a time. Come add your own strokes of thread or help children, one by one, learn the specifics.

"They learn quickly," says Mrs. Van Bibber. "We'd like every child to work in an involved way and [share] in relationships with older people."

Information: Terry Lettau, 374-9202.

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"Anybody can be a best friend," says Children's Librarian Ellen Hackman. So she designed "Bestest Buddies Books," a winter story time special at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 9 at the North Carroll Public Library.

Come listen to "Rosie and Michael" by Judith Viorst and other stories, poems and songs about friendship selected for the age of children who register. The children will create a Valentine's Day bulletin board, too.

Registration is now open, and is limited to 25 children in first grade and up. Information: 374-1212.

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Do you have a little extra time and want to join a lively crowd? The North Carroll Senior Center is always looking for volunteers "just to help out with different projects," says Center Manager Dorothy Houff. "They can do clerical work, crafts, -- even KP," she laughs.

The seniors recently treated their 39 volunteers for 1992 to a catered roast beef dinner at the center. The North Carroll librarians performed a play and All That Glitters gave its Christmas show Dec. 29. Next year, you could be at the festivities, too.

Information: 239-6400.

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What was it like when you were little? Do marbles and jacks, Silly Putty and 6-ounce Coke bottles jog your memory -- and stories to share -- of your childhood?

Susan Sterling, librarian at the Westminster branch of the Carroll County Public Library, hopes people will share childhood memories during "Family Tales." It's a winter story time for the whole family that will come to North Carroll at 7 p.m. Feb. 18 for those age 5 and older. Registration begins Feb. 1.

"The basis is family stories not lost but retold by passing generations," she says of this new library program. "Those memories provide a sense of heritage and can bond family members."

She hopes this story time will be similar to a Smithsonian exhibit of memorabilia that encouraged visitors to talk about their immigration, travel West and life long ago.

Librarian Sandy Donahue, who's from the North Carroll area, will read selected stories by Patricia Pollacco, an author who writes about her Russian grandmother in "Thundercake" and "Babushkas Doll."

Memorabilia supplied by the library just might spark interesting remembrances among those who attend. Everyone can bring along something to talk about, too.

"Parents and grandparents are welcome," said Mrs. Sterling. "You can listen to tales from other families and receive tips and encouragement for telling your own tales. Just two-or three-sentence stories. It's not for you to talk in front of a group, but, on the way home, to talk about things remembered, and to spur that call to grandparents to ask, 'What was it like?' "

Mrs. Sterling suggests that people read, "A Celebration of American Family Folklore," published by the Smithsonian Institution.

"We need to bring our oral history to mind," she says. "We need to be repeating it to each other."

Information: 374-1212.

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