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History in the making

By Staff | Apr 22, 2015

The Quilts of the Gathering Janes are on display in the Community Room of the Taber Museum of the Lycoming County Historical Society, and will continue through Thursday, April 23. The Janes have been gathering on a monthly basis since 2001, studying 19th century quilts and their patterns in creating their own contemporary quilts. The Gathering Jane quilters are (left to right): Judith Youngman, Donna Hoffman, Nancy Celline, Jacalyn Street, Sheridan Goddard Walter. Second row (left to right): Cindy Steele, Annette Foresman, Chris Kroboth, Lindy Mattern. They currently meet at the Muncy Historical Society.

MUNCY – The Gathering Janes is a quilting group that meets regularly at the Muncy Historical Society (MHS) museum. The group started meeting ten years ago when they uncovered a New England sampler quilt from Vermont that was made in 1863 and has a total of 5,602 pieces, 225 different patterns, 169 blocks and 52 triangles around the border. It was made by a woman named Jane Stickle, thus the name the Dear Jane Quilters now frequently referred to as the “Gathering Janes.”

Judith Youngman from the MHS and one of the Dear Jane quilters presented a formal discussion at the Thomas Taber museum on Thursday, April 9 where other quilts are on display that were made by the quilting group.

Their inspiration for today’s quilts comes from quilts made during the 1800s. “We share to feed our spirit,” said Youngman who claimed that creative impetus can come from any spirit with a common thread, whether it be war or peace. “This is the glue that bonds the ‘Janes’ together,” Youngman added.

The group presents a show of their work about every two to three years and the current show will end this weekend at the Lycoming County Thomas Taber Museum in Williamsport. Some of these quilts are extremely intricate with thousands of pieces just in one quilt, explained director, Gary Parks. “They are really unique and you can tell they really worked hard at it. The technical expertise is quite high.”

They are creatively and intellectually sponsored by one another. The next show is scheduled for 2018.