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Share Your Craft Story

Share Your Craft Story: “The Bicentennial Quilt Long Project”

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Laquita Thomson

This quilt (1974-2017) sized 104″x104″ represents perseverance. First conceived in thumbnail sketches with details, it was to celebrate the 1976 American Bicentennial. In the early 1980s, the state flag outer border was begun but was lost. In the late 1980s, the war and peace (eagle and dove) inner border was done.

The quilt was on hold until 2013 when a new quilt center–the triumph of the eagle over the turkey as the national bird–was designed. Four triangular corner motifs used the original gridded (“digitized”) colonial designs from 1974 and the state flags became the modern two-letter abbreviations. Traditional and contemporary elements represent my determination to finish still viable projects from my earlier art life.

A Bicentennial quilt, featuring an eagle attacking a wild turkey, surrounded by a border of state abbreviations.

Traditional and contemporary elements represent my determination to finish still viable projects from my earlier art life.

Laquita Thomson
Stacked quilting squares with colorful stars

Share Your Craft Story: “My Special Quilt”

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Avon Langston

My special handcrafted item is a beautiful quilt that was made for me by my daughter, Gay Solomon, as a gift for my 80th birthday, with one star representing each of my 80 years. Gay is a very talented quilter who lends her talent to several quilting groups, making quilts for such organizations as the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). She also gives quilting demonstrations to various civic groups.
Gay uses her own original designs and patterns as she makes her beautiful and unique handcrafted quilts.

Stacked quilting squares with colorful stars

...a gift for my 80th birthday, with one star representing each of my 80 years.

Avon Langston
Two women smile, holding a quilt with 80 stars.
A rough and well-loved wooden footstool with the name Amy Cates carved on the top.

Share Your Craft Story: “Memorial”

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Amy Cates

My Uncle Travis made and engraved this wooden stool as a gift for my second birthday. He died in Vietnam two months before my third birthday. As a little girl, I set it across my knees and used it as a lunch table while I watched cartoons, but I also found its great versatility as a stage for my Barbies’ performances and a step stool to reach high places like kitchen cabinets and bathroom mirror.

Over the years, the grooves of the lettering softened, and the stool’s utility expanded to serve as a small bookshelf, a lunch table for my own kids to fight over, and a thing to tuck away, out of sight. It had aged to the point of being a fragile memorial best kept under a bed or on a high shelf in a closet. In recent years, I determined a memorial is best seen and shared, not preserved between old quilts and forgotten cardboard boxes. This sturdy little thing now resides in my home office, and some days, it finds its way under my desk, where I put it to work as a footstool.

A rough and well-loved wooden footstool with the name Amy Cates carved on the top.

A memorial is best seen and shared, not preserved between old quilts and forgotten cardboard boxes.

Amy Cates
An embroidered dog with a rubber ball and a number 5 from a clock.

Share Your Craft Story: “Memories from the Land of Ro”

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Ro Gilbert-Eyke, Studio 222 member

I am a fiber artist. This is one of my favorite quilts. It’s called “Memories From the Land of Ro,” and it is a map of my childhood home. I belong to Studio 222, and this quilt was made for one of our shows at the Jan Dempsey Art Center. The theme of the show was “Woodlands.” I was required to use a particular fabric, but I could create whatever I liked. I sewed items onto the quilt, including jewelry charms, numbers from a grandfather clock, sticks, wire, a toy truck, and iron-on patches. I wanted to make this quilt because while my mother still owns the land, she sold the timber, which altered it dramatically. I wanted to share my memories with my family to have a visual representation of my life.

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A textured hand-sewn quilt with affixed jewelry, charms, toys and clock numbers.

I wanted to share my memories with my family so that they would have a visual representation of my life.

Ro Gilbert-Eyke
An embroidered dog with a rubber ball and a number 5 from a clock.
An embroidered fox hides behind a plastic toy tree on a quilt.
A soft handmade sweater in a warm and cheery yellow.

Share Your Craft Story: A Gift for Mommy

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joyce gillie gossom, Museum Advisory Board Chair

This was the first garment I ever knitted. Completed over the course of 3-years, I began soon after learning to knit in 3rd grade and completed it in April of 6th grade. It was a birthday gift for mommy who kept and wore it at work for 30-years, then wore it during her health battle until her death. The value is priceless because it still is the only garment I’ve ever knitted or crocheted that has absolutely no mistakes. I wanted it to be perfect for her because she was perfect to me.

A soft handmade sweater in a warm and cheery yellow.

I wanted it to be perfect for her because she was perfect to me.

joyce gillie gossom

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