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National quilting day observed

By Staff | Mar 20, 2019

CAROL SHETLER/The Luminary Bolts of batik fabrics are auditioned by Brenda Myers (left) of Hughesville with salesperson Ronda Freezer and customer Luanne Bartlow of Muncy looking on. At the Ben Franklin store in Clarkstown, the women, all quilters, were interviewed last week as National Quilt Day approached on Saturday, March 16.

CLARKSTOWN – Quilters seem enthusiastic about their work and perhaps none more so than Rhonda Freezer, since 2011, one of the salespersons in the fabric department at the Ben Franklin Store in Clarkstown.

Freezer, a Hughesville resident, is a veritable bundle of ambition who works at Muncy Valley Hospital then at the store before going home to quilt. When asked about her journey in quilting, Freezer said, “One of the first sewing projects was to make something out of a used house coat.”

She said, “My first quilt of about 20 years ago, was for the man who later became my husband. I’d embroidered squares with a deer print, put it together as a quilt and it’s now at the hunting cabin. I love playing with colors and in doing so, can get a different effect even while using the same pattern such as the Log Cabin which can be set sixteen different ways,” Freezer said. The destination for Freezer’s quilts have gone to relatives, co-workers, and reunions.

The quilter attends quilt shows if within a day’s driving distance. She also machine quilts for others and has won numerous awards both individually and through custom work. As for her stash Freezer said, “I have enough for ten lifetimes, hoping the quote, ‘Only the good die young’ does not apply to me.”

Brenda Myers is also a seasoned quilter. The Hughesville resident said, “I’ve been sewing ever since I can remember. My mother and grandmother were seamstresses. I quilt year-round often drafting my own patterns. I have two sons and have often said my teal colored quilts will make beautiful grease rags.”

There is hope for the next generation as Myers is teaching her eight and 13-year-old granddaughters to sew. The youngest won a prize in last year’s quilt show presented by the Susquehanna Valley Quilt Guild.

Luann Bartlow of Muncy is a recent convert to quilting having done so the past two years. “My favorite colors are lime green, purples and teals. I made a throw size quilt using my regular machine to quilt it. I’ve always wanted to quilt, and with the help of the internet, am self- taught.”

National Quilting Day is observed annually on the third Saturday in March which was Saturday, March 16. It was a day to appreciate and recognize quilt makers, along with all of their long labor, love and skill that goes into the making of each quilt.

Early American quilts were the result of patched together pieces of worn out blankets and clothing. Since they had to weave their own fabrics, there was little time for creative piecing together of colorful, artful patterns. These items were purely functional.

By the mid 18th century Americans were making elaborate quilts designed to be handed down from mother to daughter, often pieced together from salvaged pieces of clothing and other bedding.

At the 22nd annual show of the National Quilting Association in Lincoln, Nebraska in June of 1991, a resolution was passed and National Quilting Day was started.