ALLENWOOD -A step back in time was offered by members of the Susquehanna Valley Quilt Guild with its 2018 show theme, “World War I Centennial.”
Creating quilted tributes to relatives serving in the Great War were: S. Joy Brown, Mary Lunger, Carol Shetler, Deb Smith, Helena Volanshy, and Patti Winters. Additional works in the category were created by Linda Becker, Cindy Craddock, Bonnie Foust, Sally Labenburg, and Kay Rhinehart.
During the award presentations, show-chair Cindy Craddock shared that the wish of eight-year old Cassidy Jacobs from Montgomery was to vie against adult quilters. Joining the membership of the quilt guild made her eligible to compete. A rousing roar of applause was heard when the show-chair revealed first place in the challenge was won by Cassidy and her grandmother Nancy Jacobs. They walked away with the blue ribbon for their entry, ‘Lest We Forget.”
In the ‘War Room,’ many visitors successfully identified relatives while scanning names of WWI veterans stitched on the trio of Red Cross quilts made in Jersey Shore during 1919. These rare quilts were on loan by SVQG member Kim Hunter, The Jersey Shore Historical Society, and the Thomas T. Taber Museum of the Lycoming County Historical Society in Williamsport. At the latter, from mid June through mid August, those who displayed WWI quilts are invited to show them again. Watch media sources for updates.
SVQG member Patti Winters, guided attendees through the display of war quilts. Her entry, dedicated to her grandfather, D. Herman Baylor, brought more than a dozen family members. They documented the event by having a photo taken as they gathered around the quilt. There were also family photo albums available for browsing.
“I hope quilters who participated in the war theme sections, realize they are links in the chain carrying forward the opportunity as we endeavor to bring the past with us. Connecting people to the great sacrifices their ancestors gave in the Great War, or whatever they did in the past be it great or small, is my goal,” said researcher and writer Carol Shetler.
Guest exhibitor Jarrad Jones of South Williamsport, a tailor who restores and recreates uniforms and other military garb said, “What a great time. I met people from all walks of life and groups from ages five and six to a 95-year-old man. Everything I heard was positive.”
Jones went on to say, “The conversations gave me renewed energy to keep doing what I do. The experience let me know how important it is to keep history alive and keep the trade alive. As long as we’re around, it’s not going anywhere nor will it be forgotten. All in all, it was an extremely enjoyable experience.”
Guest exhibitor Betty Neff of Canton, quilt designer and teacher said, “It was a time warp in history. These actual local tangibles that once co-existed 100-years ago did so again.”
Neff added that, “The actual sounds and significance of the space hit you as you stepped into the ‘WAR ROOM: 1917-1918.’ We were privileged as veterans, quilters, even whole families, to share a moment again in that time, a brilliantly conceived idea.”
Giving pause for thought, a verse paraphrasing Galatians 5:13 appears on Neff’s exhibit quilt titled ‘Eagles Flight.’ It reads, “For you have been called to live in freedom . . . use your freedom to serve one another in love.”