Quilt festival in Saxonburg ends with gift to help family in need
Betty Learn’s friends said she would have smiled.
Learn was a quiet but determined quilter who decided about five years ago it was time to bring back the Centennial Hall Quilt Show that hadn’t been held for many years, said Nancy Pauli, a member of the Pieceful Patchers Quilt Guild.
Learn’s husband, Chuck, built all of the wooded racks needed to display the quilts — some still done by hand and some with the aid of machines used to speed up the process.
Learn died about two years ago, but the two-day show was again held over the weekend in Centennial Hall at St. Luke’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in downtown Saxonburg.
It was part of the Saxonburg Festival of the Arts.
The Pieceful Patchers quilters took over the show, again in Betty Learn’s honor.
From the size of the crowd Sunday, the relentless driving, cold rain and wind didn’t hamper the event.
There were more than 70 quilts, ranging in size from king size to much smaller wall hangings, on display. Showing them created a colorful maze of sorts for visitors.
Not all of the quilts were for sale. Many were just for display.
Quilt themes included beautiful roses gardens, blue birds, Christian and rainbows, as well as patriotic subjects.
An untitled quilt by 9-year-old Xavier Oniboni, of Butler, showcased an aquatic theme.
“He hand-stitched the quilt and won in a contest at the Butler County Fair,” Pauli said.
One of the Civil War themed-quilts was done by Sylvia Walters, who owns Farmhouse Fabrics and Old Springhouse Antiques in the Schenley section of Gilpin.
She does hand-stitching and also uses a special sewing machine. She also teaches others how to quilt.
“Many women and men have the machines that cost $25,000 to $30,000,”
At the same time, many of the quilts on display were done by women and men at nursing homes, including Concordia.
“They have time to use the hoops and do hand-stitching and they find it relaxing,” Pauli said.
On Sunday, a hand-crafted “Fall Log Cabin” quilt was raffled off with the money going to the church to give to a local family or person in need, Pauli said.
The quilt was crafted by Christine D’Angelo of Penn Township, Butler County.
When a leg injury slowed her down, Janice Park of Buffalo Township, quilted the backing.
The traditional quilt used a series of stitched together blocks, had a red square at the center of each block to symbolize the hearth.
“At first, I didn’t want to give this one up,” D’Angelo said.
The Pieceful Patchers meets in the church’s Centennial Hall along State Street behind the church along Main Street.
Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chuck at 724-226-4711, [email protected] or via Twitter @ChuckBiedka.