Quilt show theme emphasizes local history
HUGHESVILLE – “Our Historic Susquehanna Valley” is the theme for the upcoming 2014 bi-annual quilt show hosted by members of the Susquehanna Valley Quilt Guild (SVQG). The theme section is a first for the 20-year-old guild highlighting people, places or things of historical significance to the local area as its criteria.
Unlike most quilting projects where printed patterns with listed fabric requirements are readily available, theme quilters begin with a seed of an idea , gather research and create individual patterns. With each project, a story of the theme and hurdles overcome to attain results, are an important part of understanding the quilt.
Show co-chairs Patti Winters of Williamsport and Kay Rhinehart of Muncy shared reasonings for their choices and coincidentally, both have religious origins. The quilts represent The Salvation Army of Williamsport and the Quaker Village of Pennsdale.
Due to the involvement of her husband’s aunt and uncle, the late Rosene and Ken Aston, Winters decided to feature her quilt on their behalf because they were ardent volunteers locally with the Salvation Army.
Winter’s quilt references music due to Mr. Aston’s instrumental talents which he encouraged and taught. Mrs. Aston was involved with food preparation and fund raising therefore an actual red Salvation Army apron is appliqued to the quilt.
Central to the project’s theme are copies of bulletins and newspaper articles transferred to fabric. They note the June 28, 1942 dedication of the first permanent (and current) building corner of North and Market Streets. Winters said that “In 1908, efforts to establish a center didn’t happen as twice they were run out of town. This was due to what was deemed over-enthusiastic efforts to convert sinners. Members physically went into whiskey houses and bowerys and dragged people out. They also held services reading Bible scriptures and singing hymns on the city’s busiest street corners.”
From a 1971 newspaper, Winters located some history written by Aston’s son David. “I couldn’t find any updates since that time,” Winters said. The Aston’s had three children and later when reaching adulthood, became officers in the movement.
In June, Winters will present her quilt to Aston’s daughter, Ruth Ann Bartholomew, when she and her husband retire from a Salvation Army center in the Poconos.
Patti Winters is a daughter of Mildred Baylor Nichols, a 1948 Muncy High School graduate currently residing in South Williamsport.
Co-chair Kay Rhinehart selected Pennsdale and the surrounding area of which she’s been fascinated since moving here about 20 years ago. “Our property borders the Ellis-Adium House in an area rich in history, the Indians, early settlers, the Underground Railroad. One can almost hear the sounds of horse hooves and buggy wheels on the village street,” she said.
Rhinehart says of her efforts to glean ideas and information for her quilt, “I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Janet McManigal of Pennsdale and Malcolm Barlow of Muncy Farms. Both were helpful about their respective areas.”
A drawing of early Pennsdale is prominent in the center of the quilt which is surrounded with photos of several legendary structures including the train depot and hall of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. “The Odd Fellows Block” which Rhinehart had renamed “The Pennsdale Block” appears on each of the quilt’s corners. “I found it in quilt pictures in the book ‘In the Heart of Pennsylvania’ by Jeanette Lasansky. It was from a Penndale quilt of the 1800″s,” Rhinehart said.
“Grandmother King had been a great quilter, but while growing up I had no interest in quilting. A person who influenced me in my love of quilting was Marge Rosser, a fellow teacher with me at Curtain Junior High School in the 1970’s. Our Guild has also been a great resource with ideas and help,” Rhinehart said.
Rhinehart is a retired high school librarian from Warrior Run. Her husband Larry is a long-arm machine quilter, is involved in show setup, and the guild’s lone male member.
Additional theme section displays will include the Piper Air Craft Company of Lock Haven, Woolrich where since 1830 the Rich family manufactured wool, the entrance to Penn College, and the Roaring Creek Valley Quaker Meeting House of Columbia County. Other quilts feature Women noted in a quilter’s family, Amish in PA, the Rockville Train Bridge north of Harrisburg completed in 1902 as the world’s largest stone masonary railroad bridge, Moreland Township’s 200th year, and also 14 logos from flour bags of local grist mills.
Additional quilts represent Sullivan County and include Ticklish Rock, the Sonestown Covered Bridge, and 20 names of Civil War soldiers from Davidson Township among others.
Approximately 200 entries from bed quilts to wall hangings, miniatures and a challenge category will be displayed. In an effort to advance the art of quilting, there is a youth section with participants mentored by SVQG members. This year it will include Patrick King, foster son of co-chair Patti Winters.
A door prize of a Bernina 215 sewing machine valued at $1200 has been donated by Hoovers of Mifflinburg. For more information check the website: www.susqvalleyquilters.org.
The public is encouraged to come and vote for their favorite quilts featuring 6 different categories. Based on People’s Choice ballots will be collected and announced Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. shortly after the show.