A quilt, whether it rests on the back of a sofa, hangs as a decoration on a wall, or covers a bed, it signifies warmth and comfort. That's probably because each block, each design and every stitch is lovingly made.
And that's what Brenda Dorshimer of Kunkletown does with every quilt she sews and hand-stitchesshe adds her love to it. It is her love of the art and the crafting of it that has been a favorite pastime of hers for many years.
Brenda will be the featured quilter at the 9th Annual Quilt Show "Stitches in Tyme" on Sunday, June 13 from 1-4 p.m. at the Polk Township Vol. Fire Company located on Rt. 209 in Kresgeville.
Brenda will be showcasing seven quilts. Two of them are patchwork quilts made many years ago by her grandmother, Mary Harleman, one quilted and one knotted. The other featured quilts are made by Brenda.
When she redecorated a guest bedroom, she used the Waverly Azalea Fields pattern print wallpaper. She found matching material and made a quilt, chair pillow, window valance and wall hanging for the room. She will be displaying this quilt along with the crib quilt and pillow, in a blue and red sports motif, she made for her four-month-old grandson, Gavin Dorshimer.
Brenda took her first quilting class at a shop in Peddler's Village in the 80s and was hooked. And she often sat in at a family quilting bee at her mother-in-law's home in Kunkletown. The ladies included Florence Dorshimer, (her mother-in-law,) Irene Hawk, Betty Meckes, Mae Pearsol, Renee Dorshimer and even her own daughter, Cheryl Heffelfinger.
"We'd have a quilt in a frame on Friday and by Sunday have it out. It was at these gatherings I learned rocking the needle and gained confidence."
The quilts Brenda has made are visible in her charming home she shares with her husband, Bob.
"I don't like to pack away my quilts. You go to the trouble of making them, I want to see them," she says.
Brenda found several quilt tops her grandmother made but never quilted or finished. She is currently working on one of appliqued leaves and vines from the late 30s or early 40s, made out of feed bag material. Brenda is duplicating the leaf and vine design in the quilting of it.
"I found what they call, 40s print material for the trim work. When it's done, I plan to use it as a table cover."
Brenda has loved to sew since she had it in her home economics classes at Pleasant Valley High School. She graduated from Bloomsburg University with a degree in Special Education. She was a special-education teacher for PVSD until she retired. The mother of Cheryl Heffelfinger and Brent Dorshimer, Brenda is very active in many community organizations from the Western Pocono Women's Club, Eldred Township Historical Society, West End Fair, a member of St. Matthew's UCC choir and a Bunko club. She enjoys gardening in addition to quilting, camping and baby-sitting for her three grandchildren whenever needed. Each grandchild has a quilt made specifically for them from their grandmother. They make wonderful heirlooms.
"To me quilting is fun. I get to sit around and talk and laugh with the other gals I'm quilting with."
Brenda also thinks quilting is like doing a puzzle-it's hard to walk away from it.
"I'll rethread the needle for the next day and then I think I'll just stitch a few and before I know it, it's an hour and a half later."
But when she's finished a quilt, she has a great sense of accomplishment.
She's in the process of collecting men's ties to make a tie quilt. She has some from her father-in-law, her dad, husband and friends' husbands.
"It will be a memory quilt. One of these days."
She adds that if anyone has any ties they would like to get rid of, let her know.
"There's always a new idea floating around in my head for a new quilt," she says.
She just might get some more ideas at the Stitches In Tyme Quilt Show on Sunday where some of the amazing quilting talents of the area will be featured. There will also be a "Hands on quilting" opportunity for anyone to add a few stitches in a quilt. Sylvia Gethen's 8-year-old granddaughter will be demonstrating how to use a quilting machine. There will be quilting related items for sale, a raffle and free refreshments. Everyone is invited.