Piecing together Americana a stitch at a time

October 02, 1994|By JoAnne C. Broadwater | JoAnne C. Broadwater,Special to The Sun

In the spirit of an old-fashioned quilting bee, dozens of members of the local Flying Geese Quilt Guild combined their talents last winter to stitch and piece together 50 square blocks of an Americana red, blue and muslin bed covering that has been appraised at $5,000.

That quilt -- with its pattern of geometric representations of the 50 American capitols and the signatures of all of its makers -- will be among several hundred works handcrafted by guild members that will be on display at the "Harvest of Quilts Show and Sale" at Harford Technical High School next weekend.

"The show is for everybody who is interested in quilts, from the professional dealers right down to the people who say 'I think these are the neatest blankets I've ever seen,' " said Connie Kauffman, president of the Flying Geese Quilt Guild.

The guild is a social organization founded in the late 1980s which has more than 100 members from Harford, Baltimore and Cecil counties.

"Our goal is to share and promote the art of quilting," Mrs. Kauffman continued. "The show is something that our members just love to do. They simply enjoy sharing the art of quilting with other people."

Organizers of the show hope to raise several thousand dollars to sponsor lectures and workshops by nationally known quilt teachers and to pay for materials for their community service quilt-making projects.

"Our group has grown from an organization of six to nine people meeting in someone's living room to 100 people who get together at a church," said Mrs. Kauffman, of Bel Air. "But we're still trying to provide the closeness of a quilting bee."

Their group-made quilt -- called "A Capitol Idea" -- will be awarded to the holder of the winning raffle ticket on the last day of the show.

There also will be a silent auction of 35 quilted wall hangings donated by guild members.

Throughout the show, visitors will be able to observe quilters at their craft. Demonstrations of a Japanese method of quilting will be held both days at noon. Another on the use of decorative threads and stitches in quilting will be at 1 p.m.

In addition to the 185 quilts made by guild members, several works by nationally known quilt designers will be featured. There also will be a collection of antique quilts on display. Those quilts, owned by Sharron Shulder, the first president and one of the founders of the Flying Geese Quilt Guild, date from the Civil War era to the 1950s.

"It's nice to have something that someone else made so many years ago and they put so much pride into it," said Mrs. Shulder, of Jarrettsville.

As a special tribute to the late Stacey Cumberland, a guild member who died in September 1993, the show will feature a selection of her carefully crafted quilts -- all hand-pieced and hand-quilted with no sewing machine work.

The quilt show will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at the school, 200 Thomas Run Road in Bel Air. Admission is $3 for adults, $1 for children 6 to 11 and free for youngsters under 6.

Raffle tickets may be purchased at the show.

For further information, call Trish Raidt, quilt show chairwoman, at 879-7288.

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