Quilts are as diverse as the women who make them

"I'll never understand why you spend all that money on fabric just to bring it home and cut it up into little pieces": Berne resident Karen Bunzey, with over 30 years of quilting experience, offered this little gem of a quote from her husband, Ken.

What if you are just starting out in the quilting world? Is there an essential core of materials?

Talking to Bunzey revealed such a list: sewing machine, cutting mat, rotary cutter, cutting ruler, pins, threads, and scissors. And of course, you should have a variety of fabric that you can cut all to pieces.

Helping the fledgling quilter flourish, many quilt shops offer workshops. There are also quilting classes provided by adult continuing education programs. Online tutorials plus quilting blogs create other avenues to enter Quiltville. If you want to learn to quilt, help is abundantly available.

One of Berne's quilt-show participants, JoAnne Brady, started her passion for quilting in the late 1970s. How did she get started?

She hooked up with a quilting group, eventually joining the Gallupville "Threads of Life Quilters," which continues to be a rewarding experience for Brady. Members are committed to many community service projects.

Doris Sairchild, a member of Camp Woodstock's community, offered quilting classes to any interested parties in the camp. Melissa Coswell signed up as a newbie.

"My husband told me there was a quilt class being offered and that I should join,” she said. “So, I signed up and am enjoying every minute of it."

Knox quilter Ruth Norray noted: "The longer it takes you to make a quilt, the less apt you are to use it."

Norray stores these pieces away for safekeeping.

So what happens to all the other quilts that are being made up here in the Hilltowns and beyond?  They are used to keep us warm, received as gifts, hung in closets, stored in trunks, sold, raffled as fundraisers, and put in consignment shops.

Displaying one's quilt adds another dimension to quilting history.

Enter the historical societies of Berne and Knox plus the Heldeberg Quilt Barn Trail: Two quilt shows proudly displaying quilts from their communities. Our Quilt Show extravaganza celebration takes place on Aug. 3 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. 

The Senior Citizens Center on Route 443 will house the Berne show. Knox has its town hall for quilt-viewing pleasure plus quilting demos. An opportunity to tour the Saddlemire House, in Knox, happens from 2 to 4 p.m. A good-will luncheon includes home made pies at the Berne firehouse from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

With drawings, door prizes, demos, food, sawdust pie, and quilts, life's looking pretty good for this Sunday in the Heldebergs. We look forward to welcoming you as a passion for quilting comes alive "up thar in them hills."

More Out & About

  • NEW SCOTLAND — The First United Methodist Church of Voorheesville invites all to a free lunch on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month.

    Meals are served from noon to 1 p.m., for eating in only. The church is located at 68 Maple Ave. in the village.

  • GUILDERLAND — Guilderhaven has a very busy fall schedule starting with the Rotary Pet Fair on Sept. 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Shaker Heritage Society.

  • RENSSELAERVILLE — Conkling Hall is calling all cooks and bakers for its annual Cook Off on Oct. 7 from noon to 3 p.m.

    Pork ’n’ Pie will offer tasty samples of pulled pork and dessert pies from cooks and bakers vying for cash prizes. The entry fee for each category is $15.