Devil’s Footprint, Ohio Star, Log Cabin, Carpenter’s Wheel — the patterns date back to the Civil War era. They represent a period when quilting was a widespread and almost necessary skill. The 1860s are reflected again in a challenge quilt made by the Possum Town Quilt Guild and donated to the Columbus Arts Council. It will be raffled during the Council’s 50th Anniversary Golden Gala March 20.
The Guild, which meets monthly at the Arts Council’s Rosenzweig Arts Center in downtown Columbus, annually makes and donates a quilt to benefit the nonprofit arts organization. The yearly project challenges Guild members to adhere to a specific theme and incorporate preestablished creative and technical elements. Themes in the past have included Elvis tunes, butterflies and blooms and interpreted song titles.
“This year we chose to create a quilt from Civil War era reproduction fabrics and period patterns,” explained Lawana Schultz, a member of the challenge block committee. With the country still observing the war’s sesquicentennial, the theme is timely.
Quilters chose block (square) patterns based on the book “A Path to the Civil War,” by Sarah Maxwell and Delores Smith. Each member was given a swatch of border material to match their block colors with. Once completed, blocks were quilted into the finished piece by Guild member Watana Cantrell. All fabrics used are reproductions of fabrics that were printed during the period of the war. Each block bears the pattern name.
“We appreciate so much the craftsmanship and attention to detail the Possum Town Quilters put into this beautiful quilt for us,” said Arts Council Executive Director Tina Sweeten-Lunsford. “We know it will generate a lot of interest with visitors to the arts center as well as at our fundraising gala.”
Quilt tickets at the Rosenzweig Arts Center are $10 each, or get three tickets for $20. Tickets will also be sold at the March 20 gala; the drawing will be held that night.
Guild members are enthusiastic about their hobby. (Some even belong to two or three quilting groups.) They create quilts for various charitable purposes, including stitching one for every Lowndes County Habitat for Humanity family. Members often take part in demonstrating period crafts at the Columbus Spring Pilgrimage’s Artisans Alley. When they get together, they enjoy honing skills and exchanging ideas. Meetings include demos, Show and Tell, project work and plenty of fellowship. Visitors are welcome.
“It’s a group that has become close-knit,” said member Brenda Edwards. “These women love sharing.”
Learn more about the Possum Town Quilt Guild at possumtownquilters.blogspot.com, or contact Judy Stokes, 662-327-5920.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.
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