The art of American quilt-making has a rich and productive history, and the more than 100 members of the Sandhills Quilters Guild will illustrate the creativity that has made quilting such a time-honored tradition, when they present "Quilting in the Pines II" on Friday, Oct. 13, and Saturday, Oct. 14, at the Fair Barn in Pinehurst.
The show, co-sponsored by the Village of Pinehurst Parks & Recreation, will feature almost 20 different categories of quilted handiwork that will be judged -- from wearable art to bed quilts to table runners, for example.
Evaluating the entries are two distinguished judges, one of whom is Kathlyn Sullivan. An experienced quilt judge, Sullivan has been certified by the National Quilting Association since 1983. She has judged for the American Quilter's Society at Paducah, Ky., and for the state guilds of New Jersey and Arizona, as well as for many regional shows.
In addition, Sullivan is a certified appraiser of quilted textiles, and will be available by pre-arranged appointment to do appraisals at the show.
The second judge for the show is Joanne Arntsen who has been certified by the National Quilting Association since 1996. She has judged many shows throughout North Carolina, and is a member of Quilters by the Sea.
Pat Kern, publicity chair for the Sandhills Quilters Guild, describes the women in the Guild, who enjoy producing quilted items, as incredibly talented.
"I have always been in awe of women who can craft such intricate and lovely pieces of work," she says. "Although my mother taught me to do needlework of various kinds, and I have been quilting for a good number of years, I still am impressed by the ingenuity of our members."
Kern, who moved to Whispering Pines five years ago from Pennsylvania, mentions that over the years, no matter where she has been a part of a quilting group, the women who are quilters are always willing to help a novice or anyone who has a problem or needs some encouragement.
"There's a great camaraderie among quilters," she says.
A quilt boutique, a silent auction, and demonstrations are scheduled to be included in "Quilting in the Pines II." The boutique will have quilt-related items for sale, made by members of the Guild. Small wall hangings, pillows and decorations for the holidays will be featured, with other special examples of members' work included in the silent auction. Demonstrations of both hand-quilting and machine-quilting will be given.
At the Sandhills Quilters Guild exhibition will be examples of a project that was recently started by the Guild's Outreach Committee. The committee expanded their efforts by the awarding of five educational grants to teachers of Moore County public schools. The teachers used the art of quilting as a means to educate their students in a variety of topics, such as social studies, math and English.
The third grade reading classes at Southern Pines Elementary School were encouraged to make two quilts, interpreting their dreams by creating a design in art class, and then transferring the designs from paper to fabric. According to teacher Jan Kschinka, the students were enthusiastic about sewing a straight stitch, and in the final stages, Dianne Hinshaw, a classroom volunteer, helped coordinate the basting and stitching of the layers together to construct the two quilts.
Eileen Phelps, a fifth-grade teacher at Pinehurst Elementary School, says, "My mother told me I was crazy! The idea of teaching social studies through quilting, not to mention allowing fifth graders to do the cutting and sewing, was more than she could understand."
Following an idea of making a Civil War quilt pattern, her students learned research skills on the computer and in books, taking notes and finding relevant information.
"Each student first made his or her two patterned squares out of construction paper," she says. "Upon completing the paper version, fabric pieces were cut, ironed onto muslin and then hand-sewn together -- by students. To my surprise, not only did they love doing it, but several boys were the most involved."
The successful outcomes of the education project will all be displayed at the Fair Barn during "Quilting in the Pines II." The Guild's outreach committee has also extended small grants for its members to produce bed-sized quilts for Habitat for Humanity houses, and these are in addition to the 90 service quilts that the committee, through the members of the Guild, has provided for several nursing centers and other institutions throughout the county.
Another handsome quilt that will be exhibited at the show in mid-October was one crafted by member Boydie Girimont, an alumna of the Duke University Nursing School. During a recent visit from an official of the school, she was asked if she would donate a quilt to hang in the newly constructed nursing school building.
Girimont had just completed one that she calls "Ode to Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons,'" which she offered to Duke. It is slated to hang in one of the student services suites that has been named after her mother, also a Duke graduate and a significant contributor to the nursing program.
A group of round-robin quilts, representing an unusual program that has been a joint effort of several women in the Quilters Guild, will be exhibited as well. All of the women involved each received a numerical designation, and when they attended the first round-robin session, they brought with them a center square of their choosing. Then at each following meeting, the women were given detailed directions as to what to add to the succeeding section of the quilt.
The women passed along the portion of the quilt they had completed to the woman who had the next number. The anticipation of waiting to see what the final results were going to look like was intense, according to one of the women involved in the round-robin program.
"However, the finished quilts are all very different and all very beautiful," says Kern.
The chairwoman of "Quilting in the Pines II" is Liz Stern, and the current president of the Sandhills Quilters Guild is Liz Earley.
Admission is $5, and the hours on Friday, Oct. 13, are from 10 to 5, and on Saturday, Oct. 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Mary Elle Hunter is a Pinehurst freelance writer. She may be reached at email@example.com.
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