Quilting is an art, and just like all crafts, there is a story with each quilt, regardless of complexity. To highlight these extraordinary designs, the Friends of the Library Association is hosting a …
Quilting is an art, and just like all crafts, there is a story with each quilt, regardless of complexity.
To highlight these extraordinary designs, the Friends of the Library Association is hosting a “quilt turning” event Saturday at the Museum Center called Between the Stitches.
The event is serving as a fundraiser for both FOLA and the Museum Center, and is conducted alongside the museum’s annual quilt exhibit.
FOLA member Lynn Dunlap pitched the idea to the two groups after learning about a similar event in Greenville, N.C.
Between the Stitches will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with something constantly taking place throughout the event.
What exactly is a quilt turning? It is when a large display is created with all entered quilts. Each quilt is then individually held up for the attendants to see its craftsmanship and a description of the quilt is given.
Dunlap says that all quilts have a story, no matter how simple or complex they are. As the quilts are shown, each quilt’s individual origin story will be read aloud.
“These are stories about crafts, poverty, childhood, sickness, love and everything in between,” Dunlap said. “They can be a few sentences or a whole paragraph. Some even submits poems about the quilts.”
There will be three quilt turnings, one at 10:30 a.m., another at noon and the final one at 2 p.m.
The event staff are displaying between 20-30 quilts, and once each quilt turning is over, attendants can go through the Museum Center’s current quilt exhibit for free or enjoy the various other types of entertainment present.
Judy Baker, chair of the Cleveland Storytelling Guild, will be there to tell several stories. Also, a barbershop quartet called Front Page and the bluegrass band Stormy and Adrian Fisher will provide musical entertainment at different intervals throughout the event. Front Page is from the award-winning Sound of Tennessee chorus.
“We had one woman say, ‘Oh, my quilt’s not good enough to be in a show,’ and I told her that it’s not a show. We’re just talking about our quilts and giving our family’s history. So she decided to put two quilts in the show, because they certainly have stories,” Dunlap said.
There are numerous demonstrations scheduled as well, including: sewing ergonomics, binding, English paper piecing, Hyderhangout, paper piecing, strip piecing, hand quilting and crumb quilting.
The goal of Between the Stitches is to increase the awareness and the visibility of the quilting community in Cleveland. It also serves to educate attendees on the area’s quilting heritage and give a platform to the variety of art created under the quilting umbrella.
Events such as this also improve the visibility of FOLA, as many in the community are unaware of the organization’s charitable background and the extensive work it does to support the library. Dunlap made a point to thank FOLA member Jim Venstra, who she said has been instrumental in putting the event together, and securing the Fishers and Front Page as entertainment.
There are numerous quilting organizations and shops in Cleveland, and Dunlap says quilting is something of a hidden trend that is quickly becoming more popular.
“This will be such a fun, informative and entertaining event. Attendees also have the opportunity to go through the quilt exhibit at the museum at the same time, so it’s a win-win. It’s the perfect event for a day that’s supposed to be raining anyhow,” Dunlap joked.
Sponsors for the event are W.B. and Meg Campbell; Connie Gatlin with Bang-A-Rang Productions; and Advanced Home Health Care. The First Tennessee Foundation sponsors the entirety of the Museum Center's quilt show as well.
Admission is $5 for Museum Center members and $10 for nonmembers. Tickets can be purchased at the door at the Museum Center. All proceeds from Between the Stitches will be split evenly between FOLA and the museum.
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