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Stitching history together

Volunteers create the West Linn centennial quilt


by: VERN UYETAKE - Roberta Staff concentrates on the putting together the quilt.Community members have patched together the history of West Linn with a centennial quilt.

The 88-by-88-inch quilt was created as part of the city’s centennial celebrations and features embroidered animals, Native American iconography, homesteads from 1889 and more.

“I can’t even begin to tell you the whole story,” said centennial quilt organizer Alma Coston. “There are 100 squares in it and each square represents many, many interests, people and activities through the years. It’s just beautiful.”

Throughout 2012, community members, churches, clubs and schools donated 7-by-7-inch squares, which were pieced together and quilted during an old-fashioned quilting bee on Jan. 17.

Each square features a border and the borders interlock to represent a log cabin design of an old quilt, Coston said. Coston, who has lived in West Linn for 51 years, came up with idea about a year ago. The square she designed is a replica of her house.

“My mother-in-law was a quilter and they used to have quilting bees in the South,” she said. “My grandmother lived in Idaho and I still have a friendship quilt she made with her neighbors. It’s about 80 years old.”

Coston and Anita Auften sewed, by hand, all 800 pieces of the quilt, and Elizabeth Rocchia helped with the layout and design. Coston estimates the group spent about 30 to 40 hours sewing.

The finished quilt will be displayed throughout the city — it may also be presented at a city council meeting — and raffled off during the centennial weekend celebration in August. Exact plans, however, have not been finalized. Coston hopes the quilt may one day be donated back to the city.

“The quilt has a whole lot of history to it,” she said. “I hope that it encourages the community to come together on other activities.”

by: VERN UYETAKE - Quilters gathered last Jan. 17 at New Life Church to put together the pieces of the centennial quilt.

by: VERN UYETAKE - Alma Coston, left, and Lidia Salinas work on the quilt.




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