Get Busy Sewing!

Get Busy Sewing!

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Pioneer Day quilt show to be held in April

By Toni Stauffer

A long time ago, grandmothers and mothers gathered together around a large, wooden frame to hand sew a bed-sized quilt, usually as a wedding gift. Children played beneath the quilt while the women chatted or sang hymns. Many have fond memories of those days and cherish their heirloom quilts. Now is your chance to share your beautiful quilts and memories.

The first official Pioneer Day quilt show will be held at the Fort Mitchell Visitor’s Center (561 AL Highway 165, Ft. Mitchell, AL 36856) during the Pioneer Day festival on April 21 from 9 a.m. ET until 4 p.m. ET. A $5 admission fee covers all shows and events. The quilt show is being sponsored by the Russell County Historic Commission in conjunction with Pioneer Day at historic Fort Mitchell. Volunteers will be from the GALA quilters’ guild, the Russell County Historic Commission, and the community.

Entries will be judged in two categories: new quilts and antique quilts (older than 50 years). There will also be demonstrations on tools and techniques by people who own quilt shops and quilt publishers.

Quilt show co-organizer Carol Bradshaw has been sewing all her life. She started making doll clothes, and made her own clothes in high school and college. She eventually lost interest in making her own clothes and began quilting instead.

“If you change size, clothes don’t fit anymore,” said Bradshaw, “but quilts last forever.” She added, “Linda Hayes and I have gone to [Pioneer Day] before and have taken some quilts just to add another layer of interest, but we’ve never had a judged quilt show at the Pioneer Day.”

Co-organizer Linda Hayes didn’t have quilts in her family growing up, but she always admired the quilts of friends. “I always thought they were great and wonderful,” she said. Like Bradshaw, Hayes began by sewing doll clothes. She just started making quilts almost forty years ago, after the birth of her first son. Hayes is the one who will gather the entries. “At the last show, it was Carol and me who brought quilts from home,” said Hayes. “This year we’re asking people from all over to give us their quilts to show.”

Co-organizer Linda Walker learned how to sew from her mother. She started putting fabric squares together from her mother’s scraps when she was in high school. Her interest grew after she had her first child and began making baby quilts. She handles publicity for the show.

“We really want participation,” said Walker. “We hope people will share quilts from their home collection, from their family. Sometimes people don’t think what they have is special—you know, grandma’s quilt from the 1920’s, but it is.”

“The biggest different with this show,” said Bradshaw, “is it’s a show for people who make quilts and a show for people who own quilts, because a lot of people own family quilts that didn’t make the quilts.  It’s a way for people who own family quilts to show them off.”

“You don’t have to be a quilter to send an entry,” added Walker. “But we also hope to recruit new quilters, too.”



Vintage/Antique – any size

New Small Quilts – perimeter 144” or less

New Medium Quilts – perimeter greater than 144” and no more than 280”

New Large Quilts –perimeter greater than 280”


• Gala Quilt Guild, Phenix City, AL – at the February or March regular meeting

• Cotton Boll Quilt Guild, Auburn, AL – at the February or March regular meeting

Or at the following locations, during regular business hours, from April 3 – 13

• Naomi Elliot, Revenue Commissioner, 1000 Broad Street, Phenix City

• Citizen of East Alabama office, 2401 Sportsman Drive, Phenix City

• Sew Much Fun, Columbus, 706-317-0024

• Stitch Therapy, Auburn, Ala. 334-821-7781• Sunday Best Quiltworks, Ellerslie, 706-569-7744