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History and art combine for quilt show

Show is April 15 at the senior center

by: Photo By Susan Matheny - Claudia Minor with her mother's Sun Bonnet Sue quilt.

A combination of history and beautiful craftsmanship will be on display at the eighth biennial quilt show, hosted by the Country Quilters of Jefferson County from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, April 15, at the Jefferson County Senior Center.
   "Anyone is welcome to show their quilts," said club member Claudia Minor, who noted check-in time for quilts is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Saturday before the show.
   The Country Quilters group formed in 1984 from an idea by Patty Kraus and support of Jamie Lang. Nine ladies began meeting once a month with the desire to share ideas and inspire each other, while promoting enthusiasm for their craft.
   Besides Kraus and Lang, the charter members included Vicki McKelvy, Doris Schledewitz, Sue Posey, Sharon Blake-Simmons, Myrtle Griffith, Jan VanOrsow, and Diane Griffin.
   Membership was limited to 15 people, so they could meet in homes, and dues were $2 per year. The only rules were: no smoking, be on time, and no children past the age of 3 months.
   "It's a neat bunch of gals. They're fun and there aren't many rules," Minor said, noting the group now has members from Madras, Culver and Crooked River Ranch.
   Each month, the meeting hostess is in charge of the program, which has included demonstrations and guest speakers. As a group, they attended several quilting workshops, and have stitched quilts for numerous charity projects over the years.
   "We have made quilts for hospice, Hurricane Katrina victims, and newborns at Mountain View Hospital," Minor said. In 1988, members made a queen-sized Double Irish Chain hand-quilted creation to raffle off to help raise money for the Jefferson County Library's building fund. The quilt raised $1,258, and was won by Lynn and Connie Howland of Madras.
   Over the years, they also sewed quilts for the Community Theater of the Cascades play entitled "Quilters," for 11 families of Hot Shot firefighters, a wall-sized quilt for the Mountain View Living Center and small wall quilts featuring books for the library's children's area.
   In 1992, McKelvy suggested the group host a bi-annual quilt show for the community and the first show was held in 1993 in conjunction with the library. The shows usually had featured quilters including Jean Wells, Barbara Schreiner, Sandy Feigner and Andrea Balosky.
   Between 140 to 205 quilts have been displayed, with attendance ranging from 200 to 300 people.
   "That's what the show is all about -- bringing the community and people together. When we held them at the library, people would come and stay three hours talking to people. It was a social thing," Minor said.
   This year, the show is switching to the senior center at 860 S.W. Madison St., Madras, because space at the library it tight with added book shelves, making it hard for people to view the quilts (hung on the shelves).
   Minor said she got started quilting because her mother had made "Sun Bonnet Sue" quilt blocks out of leftover dress material, but had never put them together. "I put it together for her and she just loved that quilt when it got done," Minor said.
   The more quilting she did, the more she wanted to do, Minor said, noting, "It gets very addictive."
   Now she said she does machine quilting because hand-quilting takes too long. "The last hand-quilted one I did took me five years!" she admitted.
   Minor found out about Country Quilters after taking a class from Schledewitz, and has now been a member for seven years.
   "This year has been wonderful. The gals in the club are so enthusiastic, have worked so hard and are so excited about the show."
   "I just wish everybody would come to the show and see the beautiful works of art that there are," Minor said.