Quality quilts

Seigel’s paper doll quilt exhibit
to open at La Grange museum

Unique creations to appear
at Oldham County History Center

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

Kentucky quilt artist Rebekka Seigel has been so inspired by 13 women of the 20th century that she has created 13 quilts to honor these women.
Twelve of these quilts, know as paper doll quilts, will hang at the Oldham County History Center for one week on Oct. 23-28. Seigel chose women who “were pioneers in their fields. They took on something that traditionally only men would do,” said Seigel.
The women represented in the quilts are Ella Fitzgerald, Jean Ritchie, Rachael Carson, Mildred Babe Didrickson, Martha Graham, Eleanor Roosevelt, Louise Nevelson, Lucille Ball, Barbara Jordan, Margaret Meade, Lucy Martin Lewis, Pearl S. Buck and Maya Angelou.

Rebekka Seigel Quilt

Photo provided

"Woman of Conscience"
quilt made by
Rebekka Seigel.

“Their stories are told through their garments,” said Seigel. Employing a paper doll theme, the quilts reflect garments worn by these women. The quilts are composed of tiny quilts, which attach to the main quilt.
“The format comes from my love of paper dolls as a girl,” she said. It took Seigel six years to make the quilts, and as she was working on one the idea for “the next one just came to me.”
Seigel can recall many childhood hours cutting and dressing dime store paper dolls. For her quilts she simply transferred this idea to fabric. The first paper doll quilt she made illustrated the life of Phyllis George, wife of former Kentucky Gov. John Y. Brown. From there the idea of a quilt series grew.
The paper doll quilt exhibit is entitled “Women’s Work” and there will be a special presentation and lunch with the artist at noon Saturday, Oct. 27. The quilts will be displayed in the Rob Morris Chapel Educational Building on the grounds of the History Center in La Grange.
This exhibit is a traveling exhibit that has moved from museum to museum across the United States since 2003. It will be on display at the Frazier Historical Arms Museum in Louisville from Jan. 26 to March 30, 2008.
“The appeal is that each quilt explores the unique biography of famous women in an unusual way-the quilts are absolutely stunning and unusual,” said Nancy Theiss, executive director of the Oldham County History Center.
“As a child growing up in the late 1950s and ‘60s, I immediately recognized these women, some of my role models, such as Babe Didrickson and Pearl S. Buck; they (the quilts) truly are treasures that recognize the accomplishments of some outstanding citizens,” Theiss said.
Seigel started her first quilt 25 years ago when expecting her first child. In 1995 she was an artist-in-residence in Northern Ireland. Her quilts hang in private collections and the Evansville Museum of Art and Science in Evansville, Ind.
Seigel is also the events and program coordinator for Elk Creek Vineyards in Owenton, Ky. The vineyards were begun in 2003 and when the winery opened last November, Seigel said she thought she would like to help out.
Her husband, Greg Seigel, is a potter, and vineyards owner Curtis Sigretto was “a great patron of his work,” said Seigel. Sigretto was from New Jersey, and opening the winery at the vineyards was “something he always wanted to do,” said Kristine Lawler, manager for Elk Creek Vineyards.
“We want to become established as one of the most known wineries in the tri-state area,” said Lawler. Once inside, it is hard to believe the building used to be a warehouse, she said. Sigretto is also responsible for beginning the hunt club in Owenton 14 years ago.
Cooking classes conducted by a guest master chef are being planned for Dec. 1 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., featuring holiday food. A fee of $75 plus wine costs will be charged. In the art gallery at the vineyards, a “Holiday Exhibit” will feature ten regional artists and offer great gift giving ideas Nov. 3 through Dec. 31. An opening reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 10.
Elk Creek Vineyards offers red and white wines, wine tasting, wine making tours and a lodge for overnight guests.

• For more information, visit: www.elkcreekvinyards.com. Tickets for the Oct. 27 lunch with Siegel at the Oldham County History Center are $10, reservations only: (502) 222-0826. There is an admission charge of $5 public; $3 members for the quilt exhibit.

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