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Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

Guild uses their quilts - old and new - to teach, help others; show planned

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Carol Messmer demonstrates her technique on making the United States Marine comfort quilt.
SIKESTON -- Members of the Bootheel Quilters Guild say they're so close, they are practically sisters.

"I had to leave my daughter's to come home yesterday so I could go to the meeting," member Carolyn Lawson said at Tuesday's meeting.

Group members go to dinners, quilt shows and other outings together.

They also sponsor their own quilt show every two years. This year's show will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 11 and 12.

The date, which coincides with the rodeo, is no coincidence. Other events, including the Cowboy Cookoff outside the Clinton Building, bring in more people.

"People can just come and see how happy a bunch of quilters are when we get together," said show chairwoman Alice Happe.

At the show, there will also be a bed turning of antique quilts. One by one, members will hold up the quilts and tell their history, then lie them down and repeat the process. Several crafts will be for sale -- including large and small quilts, Happe said. Visitors can vote for their favorite designs.

Members will raffle off a log cabin style quilt as well, which was made by member Niva Spivey. The top was hand quilted by Darlene DeLong.

Spivey has made 69 of the log cabin quilts. "They say I have to make one more to make it 70," she said. "I'll get to it eventually."

When it comes to quilting, Spivey has one regret. "I have not documented all the quilts I've made and signed them," she said. A signature and date keep the heritage of a quilt alive, because then the owner will always know who made the quilt, when and where. When shows are judged, one point is counted off for quilts without the signature, Happe said.

The Bootheel Quilters Guild formed in 1989 for enjoyment of friendship in sharing ideas to promote interest in quilts and quilting techniques, and also to keep alive the heritage of quilting, Happe said.

"We have members who don't even quilt, but they're here because they love the friendship," she said.

Lawson, for instance, joined the group not knowing much about quilting. "I retired last year, then I started this as a hobby," she said. "I wanted to learn from the best."

It's an addicting habit. "It is habit-forming, but it's a good habit," said Linda Emerine. "When you do something like this, you enjoy being with people who like to do the things you do."

Members use their talents to help other groups, too. All the proceeds from their show will benefit local charities. They also donate quilts to charities.

"They can raffle it off for more money than we can give them," Happe said. Other donations include quilts to the hospital for babies without a quilt to be wrapped in; lap robes and caddy bags to nursing homes; and weighted bags for the Regional Diagnostic Clinic.

Each month, different quilts are hung at the Sikeston Depot to exhibit members' talent.

Monthly meetings include homemade refreshments, show-and-tell, and a business session. There is also a demonstration on quilt patterns, discussions and ideas on various techniques and methods of quilting. Tuesday's session was on Marine Comfort Quilts, which members donate blocks, time and talent toward.

The guild meets at 9:30 a.m. the second Tuesday of each month at the First Christian Church on North Main Street. Anyone can join and visitors are welcome.

* The Bootheel Quilters Guild will host its sixth quilt show Aug. 11 and 12.

It will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days at the Clinton Building at the Sikeston Sports Complex. Admission is $1.

* Visitors can see the bed turning of antique quilts and also view and purchase several crafts and all sizes of quilts.

* The group will also raffle off a handmade log cabin quilt. Tickets, which are $1 each or six for $5, may be purchased at the show, from any member, or by calling show chairwoman Alice Happe at 471-3854.