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Palmerton Library quilt show grows each year

  • ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS Nick and Lorraine Muniz were looking at what turned out to be the best of show quilt. It was displayed by Vinita Horinko who lives in Palmerton.
    ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS Nick and Lorraine Muniz were looking at what turned out to be the best of show quilt. It was displayed by Vinita Horinko who lives in Palmerton.
Published October 31. 2012 05:02PM

"My mom (Elaine Bowman Sheckler) quilted her whole life," said Wayne Sheckler. His wife, Terri organized the Oct. 14 quilt show at the Palmerton Area Library.

As someone passes a display, she says, "I like them very much. So many are still hand-quilted."

Barbara Fisher has a personalized quilt with things that were enjoyed on the front and happy remembrances on the back.

Cheryl Hank was giving Quilt in a Day classes. She said an expert in the method can actually complete a queen-size quilt in a day, but for most people it would have to be a smaller project. The method was developed by quilter Eleanor Burns, who hosts her own television show, that features lots of quick tips to complete quilts faster.

Mariann Kmetz said the annual quilt show has gotten more popular with a lot of vendors. She introduced a woman who dates old quilts, Barbara Garrett of Chester County.

Garrett tells people how old their quilts are based on such things as the age of a certain type of fabric and the patterns. Black print fabrics date to the 1890s. On the quilt she displayed the blocks were from the 1890s.

Lattice or sashing the strips surrounding a block were from the 1890s to 1910. She guesses that someone made the blocks with old leftover material and used newer material to complete a square. The border and the backing are both from the 1900s. The pattern is a churn variation.

She also had a quilt that used sugar bags for backing and could date it from that.

Garrett said she made her first quilt in 1968 by copying antique quilts that she saw for sale. She read everything she could on the subject and attended symposiums. She has worked on quilt documentation projects that states and counties do to record the antique quilts in their localities.

"Pennsylvania is a hot bed of quilts. We are conducting documentation by counties," Garrett said.

She started in 1988 and that is when she got serious about learning. In Carbon County she suggested people contact the historical societies. People want to know what generation made their old quilt, she said.

Terri Sheckler said it is the sixth year for the quilt show which supports the library, and provides a beautiful backdrop for the quilts. There are over a hundred quilts on display some of which were for sale, she said.

The first few years there were no vendors, Sheckler said, but it adds so much to the show. The vendors offered everything a quilter needs.

Sheckler said there are a lot of secret quilters, who will not talk about what they do until the subject comes up.

A Chinese auction had items that would be desirable to quilters.

The Quilted Crow displayed fabrics and notions to make all-cotton quilts. It sponsors Shop Hops, which encourage quilters to visit 11 participating quilt shops.

People get a stamp when they visit a shop, and when someone has visited all 11 shops, they can participate in a drawing for a shopping spree.

Another vendor featured designs by Diane Phalen, which are paintings printed on calendars, note cards and more. Each features a quilt or quilts in some manner.

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