From the humble nine-patch to more intricate and elaborate works, quilts will be the focal point of a show opening Jan. 12 at the Hayden Liberty Center.

Featuring the work of 10 members of the Sedville Crazy Quilters Guild, the show explores the artistry and history of the group founded in 1994. The group’s membership includes 30 to 40 ladies who meet on the second Tuesday of the month at Community of Christ Church.

Guild member Rebecca Schnakenberg said she has been sewing since age 6. 

“When my daughter, Lea Ann, left home in 1993, I did not have anyone to do fashion sewing for anymore so I started quilting,” she continued. “Soon the Sedville Crazy Quilters was organized and I was one of the charter members. I have learned more through this organization than quilting classes I have attended. The spirit of sharing is in the organization and I enjoy that.”

The sharing, and the love for their work, is evident as the members helped each other select quilts for display in the show Wednesday afternoon. The members carefully considered each quilt, hoping to have a wide representation of their art.

According to guild member Janice Young, it was Liberty Center Association for the Arts member Vicki Weaver who approached the guild about the possibility of organizing the show.

“Because quilt making is making a comeback for new quilters as well as individuals who have family members that make quilts, my hope for this quilt exhibit is that they would like to join a quilt guild to share their quilts and accomplishments and learn new things, meet new people who share the same interests,” Young explained. 

There is a wide array of works to explore with quilts ranging from the traditional shadow box pattern to applique block quilts and works featuring modern batik fabrics and graphic designs.

Many of the women noted they use the quilts on beds and encourage those who receive one of the works to do the same. They do admit the quilts are not made inexpensively as they were decades and centuries ago.   

“Can you imagine yourself using shirttails and fabric rescued from worn-out clothing in your quilting?” Schnakenberg asked. “Can you see yourself seated on the buckboard seat of a prairie schooner piercing quilts as you crossed the prairies of Missouri, Nebraska and Kansas as you moved to establish a home in the old west? 

“Our foremothers did not have the quilting tools we have today,” she continued. “Just think about how the art of quilting has changed in the last 150 years.”

Quilting is an expensive hobby, both in time and money, according to Schnakenberg. As she explained, if an individual is putting 400 hours in making a queen-size quilt, inexpensive fabric that will wear out after five to 10 years of use should not be considered. She recommends only 100% cotton fabric be used.

“When making a quilt, the seamstress is making a family heirloom that will be a treasure for many years to come,” Schnakenberg said. “Good quality quilting fabric with a range from $8.50 to $16 a yard. A quilter will spend about $350 on fabric for a quilt.”

The thread is just as important. It takes as many as six spools for piecing the quilt top plus additional thread for quilting, so thread may cost $25 to $50.

Most members do not sell their works. Instead they are made as heirloom quilts for family and friends.

“…most quilts I do, I do for a family member or close friends and I gift them the quilt,” Deloris Woolery said. “I try to make sure every new baby that comes into our family gets a baby quilt. 

“Right now I am working on quilts to put away and have them ready for my grandchildren to have when they marry,” Woolery said. “I have 12 to make. Ten quilt tops are done, three completed and seven ready to be quilted.”

The Sedville Crazy Quilters Guild Quilt Show will open in the Fischer and Schrader Galleries of the Hayden Liberty Center Sunday Jan. 12. An opening reception with refreshments will be hosted from 2 to 4 p.m. The show is scheduled to run through Feb. 27.

Education Reporter

Hope Lecchi is the education reporter for the Democrat, covering all things education in Sedalia and Pettis County, as well as providing general assignment and feature coverage. She can be reached at 660-530-0144.

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