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SEW NOTED – Frustrated with change

By Staff | Apr 22, 2020

CINDY KNIER/The Luminary Persistent despite the frustrations she encountered while gathering content for the quilt she was designing, Carol Sones Shetler received a blue ribbon award at the Susquehanna Valley Quilt Guild Quilt show held March 6-7 in Allenwood. The quilt was crafted with Carol’s older sister in mind, under the quilt show’s theme challenge of “A journey back in time.”

Looking back on an experience can be humorous, although exasperating at the time. Recently there was a need to visit the County Court House in order to glean the date of my elder sister’s marriage.

I was present at the low key nuptials occurring before I became a teenager. Less than two years later, the husband died and with no offspring, she now too, is gone. Results from an inquiry would permit me to complete a small quilt for my guild’s upcoming show.

Several years ago I’d purchased fabric on which was printed the likeness of a marriage certificate, similar to those decorated types individuals hung on living room walls. Often in calligraphy style text, identities of the bride and groom, officiate and witnesses were affixed. Unfortunately, these wonderful framed acknowledgments are part of a past culture.

So, I was off to research in order to complete the task which will be shown in the category aptly named “Journey Back in Time.”

As the Court House is in the heart of downtown, parking is at a premium. I’d often gone to a small lot within a short distance of the building. As I entered on this trip, something seemed out of place. The usual familiar meters had been replaced with something new which I didn’t stop to investigate. I continued on to the parking deck where transactions would surely be as I remembered. Wrong! The first posted words I noticed were “No Attendants.” Oh boy, I was already off the street headed in so I took a ticket from the machine, at least that step was familiar.

In order to pass the eminent security scan at the Court House, I put in my pocket paper money, a lead pencil and index card. With all my precautions, I wasn’t aware cell phones were a no-no. The guards would not hold them; however, suggested going to a store across the street where for fifty cents it would be held. Thinking I didn’t know those people, I trudged back to the third floor of the parking deck and again returned to the scanner.

In years gone by, research at this site was fairly common when seeking naturalization lists and other genealogical information. One was allowed to personally search deed books, micro-film and the like. That, too, has changed as for a three dollar fee employees do the task. Okay, that allowed me a few minutes to rest in a comfy chair.

Back to the street and to exit the parking deck, a large black box complete with blinking lights listed instructions for the getaway. Inserting the ticket revealed the two-dollar payment fee and when cleared, spit out a receipt. It noted patrons had fifteen minutes to exit, so I hurriedly drove to the no-attendant booth where a box had been installed to place one’s ticket. By this time, exasperation had set in and instead, I inserted the wrong receipt. Immediately I feared I’d done wrong as the flimsy paper needed help for insertion.

Thank heavens for a ‘call for help’ button. Momentarily, a street cleaning machine pulled up behind and its operator asked if I needed help. Embarrassed, I explained my actions. I felt relieved when the jovial, chatty, young man assured me it’s usual for him to be called about once an hour. He unlocked the box, extracted the paper and pushed a button to heist the blockade.

Before leaving, I shared with him a spur of a moment thought I now champion as a great idea. “The county should relocate the Court House to one of the large empty spaces at the shopping mall with acres of parking so that simple country folk like me need not be confused with parking do’s and don’ts.”

On my return home I had the uneasy revelation that “I’m beginning to sound like my mother.” I’m guessing age and impatience has something to do with that.

In quilting, the ability to follow instructions is vital. I barely get by doing my own thing with efforts sometimes relegated to a heap of failures.

But alas this time, all the challenges were worth the end result. I’m pleased with the tribute to my sister and the love of her life, both robbed of what might have been.

Members of the Susquehanna Valley Quilt Guild who entered the Challenge category of the early March Show titled “A Journey Back in Time” created original pieces. Most used personal experiences in stories told in fabric.

Second and third prize winners Patty Gaugler of Selinsgrove and Wanda Keppler of Lewisburg, were elated with their wins, especially as they had joined the guild only two years ago during the 2018 show.

In the tiny space of 24 inches or less, Gaugler’s inspiration was her retirement. Metal movements from inside a watch was inserted in a wave-like effect. “I was attaching the binding at 4 a.m. the morning of the show,” Gaugler said.

Accented with thread painting, Keppler chose “The Northern Lights” a part of her bucket-list of things to do. The scene was posed as viewed through a window with a moose trekking within a pathway of pines.

Another quilter used a family member’s experience with drug recovery. Hitting rock bottom was shown with rocks at the quilt’s bottom and a car on the road to recovery likening the daily trip to a 5 a.m. appointment for counseling at Harrisburg. The survivor has since attained a college degree.

Cindy Campbell of Muncy used a verse in Psalms regarding ‘Looking to the hills from which cometh help,’ in coping with her late mother’s Alzheimer’s. A clock with numbers askew showed the loss of the mother’s ability to tell time.

Another quilted a sand-filled timer ‘neath a row of glasses noting a crowd favorite, “Wine Time.”

A tribute to the late Rachel Nelson, a pastor’s wife and pianist who taught daughter Ann and two sisters to sing harmony was embellished with Rachel’s red rose embroidered handkerchief and treble clef, on various fabrics printed with music notes.

“Harvest Time” consisted of baskets filled with veggies or berries among meandering vines. A draping twine bow was among the accents.

The first place entry entitled “I Do” was entered by Carol Shetler. On a fabric panel similar to paper wedding certificates once framed and hung on walls, the quilter penned the names of her sister Ruth Sones and groom Charles Sholtis. Wed in June 1953, sadly the husband died 23 months later. The fabric in muted pinks printed with bows on which was attached gloves, a bouquet, watch, hanky, bell, and a walkway on which was printed “Get me to the Church on Time.”

Participants anxiously await the announcement of the 2022 theme causing creative juices to flow which will likely be followed by trips to the store for fabric which will tell their stories.


Results from the Susquehanna Valley Quilt Guild Quilt show, held March 6-7. The winner of the raffle quilt was Betsy Swisher. An estimated 500 individuals attended the show, Gail Kocher Smith said.


1st “I Do”-Carol Shetler

2nd “Dreams of Northern Lights”-Patti Gaugler

3rd “Winding Down”-Wanda Kepler


1st “Family Love and Fun-Beverly Bennett

2nd “A Journey with Flower Baskets”-Cindy Craddock

3rd “Compass Star”-Maxine Zettlemoyer


1st “My Crazy Life”-Betsy Swisher

2nd “The Wave”-Sharon Miller

3rd “Glacier Star”-Rhonda Adams-Freezer


1st “Enyy Garden”-Betsy Swisher

2nd “Barn Quilts”-Cindy Craddock

3rd “Little Dog Quilt”-Raechelle Curry


1st “Flower Power”-Carol Turnbow

2nd “Patchwork Purse”-Luanne Libbey

3rd “4 Mariniers Compas”-Nancy Ryder


1st “Colorado Log Cabin”-Mary Ritter

2nd “Yesterday’s Stars”-Gail Kocher

3rd ” Poe’s Ravens”-Carol Shetler


1st “Quilters in My Family”-Kay Rhinehart

2nd “Womens Right to Vote”-Kay Rhinehart

3rd “I Should Have Danced All Night”-Carol Shetler