Presenting Her Patchwork

Madison’s Webb to exhibit
her fabrics in new Quilt Show

The exhibit will go up in March at the History Center

(March 2016) – Margie Webb of Madison, Ind., began making her first quilt at age 12. Since then, her passion for quilting has grown enormously. She still continues to share her creative talent with family and friends.
Webb, 79, suffered from scarlet fever at age 12.
Confined to her home for a long time, Webb’s mother collected material and had her daughter applique Dresden Plate blocks to pass the time. The material she used came from old dresses, aprons and feed sacks, said Webb.
Her grandmother taught her how to sew. “I’ve been sewing for as long as I can remember,” she said.
“I was born half a block up the street in an apartment above Vincent’s Grocery. It’s now The Attic. I grew up in Hanover.” Eventually, she “came back to my roots.”

Photo by Patti Watson

Margie Webb of Madison, Ind., displays some of her quilts and fabrics she has made over the years.

As to her favorite pattern, “I love to do Dresden Plates,” she said. Webb admitted this might have something to do with the fact it was the first quilt pattern she ever attempted. She never made a quilt from those blocks, saying, “I might still do it one day.”
Webb will have quite a few Dresden Plate quilts among others in the upcoming “For the Joy of It” quilt show that will run March 5 to April 2 at the Jefferson County (Ind.) History Center. Located at 615 W. First St. in Madison, the Center is holding this inaugural quilt show to showcase local talent. Admission is free to see Webb’s quilt display, which consists of more than 100 quilts she has lovingly created.
John Nyberg, executive director of the History Center, asked Webb if she would be willing to put her quilts in a show. “It’s important to feature arts and crafts created by people in this town,” he said.
“We’re in the process of starting a Southern Indiana Folk School. Quilting is a traditional class that will be offered. “There will be quilts on display in different shapes, sizes, fabrics and designs.”
They hang in the entry lobby, a hallway and the Jefferson Room of the History Center. “Special exhibit panels were built to hold the quilts.”
Some quilts are based on traditional patterns while others are more contemporary. Reproduction historic fabric is used in some and there is a “wonderful variety,” said Nyberg. “We’re delighted to have an exhibit like this.”
Webb is donating one of the quilts to the History Center’s collection, and every March there will be a quilt display, she said. A second quilt will be raffled with proceeds benefiting the Folk School.
For Webb, “quilting is a passion. I love putting the colors together. I make quilts for the joy of it. I like to be challenged by different ideas.”
Over the years she has made a business out of her passion. Webb opened Margie’s Country Store, a fabric, quilting and sewing notions store, in March 1971 in the front office of Auxier Gas Service in Hanover. She then moved the business to 721 W. Main St. in Madison where it still operates.
Webb converted the former Cisco’s Meat Market storefront into a fabric shop after purchasing the building from Historic Madison Inc. It was built in 1873 by Horace B. Cisco as an addition to a house built earlier in the 1850s. She renovated it completely and opened her doors to sell fabrics and all sorts of sewing notions.
In business for 45 years, Webb is not looking to slow down. Sandy Noah has worked for Webb for nearly 30 years and teaches quilting classes. Barbara Lowrance, who is in charge of a gift shop in the basement of the building, has worked for Webb for almost 40 years.
Together with Noah, Webb has co-authored several books that are now out-of-print. Webb became more serious about quilting when her business began offering quilting classes and she had to make samples for customers.
She used to hand-quilt her projects but switched to machine quilting when “I couldn’t make samples quick enough.”
Webb does still hand-embroider all quilt blocks that feature embroidery.
Margie’s Country Store has an extensive collection of fabrics and patterns and the staff is always willing “to give any help that is needed,” said Webb. “We have helped plan a lot of projects. Our customers are our friends.”
Webb said that, “for me, it’s really an honor and I’m really humbled” to be a part of the quilt show. “I don’t quilt for competition. I love doing it, and sharing them with other people. I feel blessed to do it.”

• For more information on the “For the Joy of It” quilt show, contact the Jefferson County History Center at (812) 493-4689.

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