by Laura Huffman
Gone To Pieces Quilt Guild members come from many walks of life. Although they took different paths, it led them to a tight knit group of artists and storytellers. The quilters themselves may disagree somewhat with that statement (they are a modest bunch)- but when I look at their handcrafted quilts, I see fantastic folk art. You can see their work displayed November 19th at the Saint Robert Community Center during their bi-annual Quilt Show.
Their stories of how they got started, and when they got started, are wide ranging. One member made her first quilt in high school Home Economics class, another was 68 years old before she took the plunge and made her first quilt. Some of the members are carrying on family traditions that were started generations ago and others are the first in their family to quilt. Techniques and styles vary, as does inspiration. Some find inspiration in the people and places around them, some look to magazines such as American Patchwork and Better Homes and Gardens Quilt. Monthly meetings of the guild and Pinterest also inspire. Some quilts are created to be heirlooms and some are created to be for daily use.
In some cases, quilts equal heritage. One member’s favorite quilt that was made by someone else dates back to the early 1900’s and was created by Ginny. Ginny lived on a farm in Colorado and raised 9 children in a home with no electric or indoor plumbing. Life was hard and every minute of the day was devoted to chores for survival. Warmth was a high priority so as Ginny had moments, and fabric, to spare she would add a piece to her pattern-less quilt. The fabric may have been a piece from a flour sack or a worn out dress. It made for a colorful, “scrappy” quilt, that the family still displays to this day. The quilt will be handed down to Ginny’s grandson. Another member describes creating a quilt block by block each month that her daughter was serving in Iraq. Each month after a block was completed she would send her soldier daughter a picture of the work. That quilt became a “love link” between mother and daughter.
Gone To Pieces Quilt Guild quilts are award winning! Seven of their quilts placed at the 2015 Missouri State Fair, including Kathi Crawford’s 3rd place entry “Trust In God”. Crawford, a veteran, started quilting as a form of therapy after a horrendous motorcycle accident. In an effort to raise money for Wounded Warriors Crawford donated the quilt to be auctioned in Kansas City, even though she had grown attached to it while making it. Circumstances brought the quilt back to her and in 2014 she entered it in the GTPQG show where it won 2nd place in People’s Choice. In 2015 she entered it in the State Fair where it won 3rd place. After the fair, judges mentioned that the quilt had been photographed countless times and the sentiment of the piece moved some people to tears. It is a stunning, and emotional quilt.
Like your grandmother’s homemade chicken and dumplings, Gone To Pieces Quilt Guild quilts are made with love. Even when they are made for strangers. The Guild has a long standing tradition of donating more than 100 quilts a year to Veterans. They also donate quilts to newborns and Genesis, A Place of New Beginnings in Waynesville. The theme for this year’s quilt show is “Honor The Active” and twenty active duty service members will be gifted with quilts during the event.
The show will also feature four categories of quilts- and the public is encouraged to vote for their favorites.
For more information on Gone To Pieces Quilt Guild feel free to visit with them in person on Saturday, November 19th during the Quilt Show or connect with them via Facebook at: www.facebook.com/GTPQuiltGuild
The guild is open to quilters of all experience levels- from beginners to master quilters!
For more ideas on things to see and do in Pulaski County, Missouri, please visit www.PulaskiCountyUSA.com