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A Stitch in Time

Jefferson County, Ind., homemakers to present 24th annual quilt show

The Carpenter’s Star is the theme
for this year’s featured quilt

(April 2019) – The Jefferson County (Ind.) Homemaker’s quilt chosen for the group’s 24th annual Bits & Pieces Quilt Show on April 12-13 is The Carpenter’s Star and is pieced in a double star pattern with beautiful teal, gray, black and brown pieces on a white backing. The final of three borders is a blue print, which is also used as backing for the large quilt. The quilters also made matching pillow cases.

Photo by Martha Rankin

From left, Glenda Schirmer and Marie Renschler pose with the featured quilt featuring The Carpenter’s Star.

This year’s accomplished quilters are Margie Renschler, Janet McMahan and Glenda Schirmer. All belong to the Smyrna (Ind.) Homemaker’s Club, one of the three clubs (Sunshine and Saluda) sponsored by the Jefferson County Extension Office. For them, the quilt involved several months of work and will be used to raise money for their scholarship fund. The winning ticket holder will take the quilt home.
“The most important part is the money we get goes to scholarships,” says Renschler.
The Bits and Pieces Quilt Show is held annually at the Jefferson County (Ind.) Fairgrounds on Hwy. 256, just west of Hwy. 56, in Madison, Ind. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Admission is $5.
Renschler does the color choices and piecing for the quilt. The quilters, meeting in their homes or at the extension office, develop a rhythm of cutting the pieces, assembling and sewing the individual blocks, and pressing them carefully.
McMahan says that in quilting, she found she enjoyed the “creative process” of designing a quilt. She says she started sewing clothes before quilting. She has made many quilts over the years. She makes quilts for her church, in which she places knots. “Each knot represents a prayer.”
The guild also makes baby quilts for Kings’ Daughters’ Hospital. McMahan says one thing she enjoys about quilting rather than sewing is it’s not having to fit, although she has loved teaching her granddaughters to sew.
This quilt is made for the purpose of providing scholarships to Jefferson County high school seniors at Madison Consolidated, Southwestern High School and Shawe Memorial. A drawing is held at the show, and the winning ticket holder will take home this beautiful, stylish quilt.
The other quilter in the threesome is Schirmer, who said, “I have a lot of quilts in me.” But she found that the actual quilting by hand was too slow and a machine produces a much sturdier quilt. So once they have finished piecing this year’s quilt, Schirmer takes the quilt face to her shop, “Quilt It,” where she layers the batting between the quilt face and the chosen backing fabric.
This year, the ladies chose a lovely blue, gray and brown print, which perfectly matches the quilt face. Schirmer will choose the design of the stitch, which will match the design of the “Carpenter Star.” Then she rolls it up on her long arm quilting machine and creates her magic.
A Madison native, she returned there four years ago after 20 years in Ohio. Quilting runs in the Schirmer family. Her grandmother, who lived in Vevay, Ind., used to tuck her in at night under homemade quilts. Her mother had a quilting shop in Vevay.
Arnold Junior Dunham, the only male member of the Smyrna Club, says becoming a quilter was “a natural” for him. He will be showing a quilt made of denim in this year’s show. Making a quilt, he says, “is more complicated that putting an engine together.”
Retired now from masonry, truck driving and working on engines, he likes to keep busy quilting in the cold months.
You may enter antique quilts, handmade or machine-made quilts, wearable art or family favorites in the show. There will be quilt supply vendors and door prizes. All local residents are encouraged to enter a quilt by April 11. There is no charge to show a quilt of any size.

• For information on the show, call Kay Dunham at
(812) 580-9647 or Carol Bell at (812) 493-9118.

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