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Good Afternoon friend!
Quilters share rich artistic tradition
July 09, 2015 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis

Courtesy photo - “Under the Stars” is this year’s Serendipity Quilt, which will be awarded to the raffle winner on Sunday afternoon at the Oregon Trail Days Quilt Show at Gering Zion Church, 11th and O Streets.

The fine art of quilting, a tradition passed down through the generations, will be on display this weekend during Oregon Trail Days.

The Panhandle Quilt Guild’s annual show, with the theme “Let the Sun Shine,” is happening in the Gering Zion Church, 11th and O Streets, on Friday through Sunday from 1 – 5 p.m. during the Oregon Trail Days celebration.

“We’re expecting about 100 quilts to be on display,” said show chairman Machelle Sterkel. “They vary in size from miniatures to king size.”

Something new this year, guild members will conducting demonstrations on the hour throughout each afternoon for anyone interested in learning new skills. Different hand techniques will be shown, including hand needle work, knitting and crocheting.

“We will have samples there and all the needed materials, so people can sit down and learn how to do things,” Sterkel said. “It will also give them some insight into what we do as quilters. Whether you’re a child or an adult, you can participate.”
On Sunday, the musical group Robidoux Pass will entertain.
The guild will have hundreds of silent auction items and other small items for purchase.
Tickets for a dollar each are still available for the Serendipity Quilt, which was created by a small member group of the Panhandle Quilt Guild. It’s called “Under the Stars” and the winner will be drawn on Sunday afternoon.

“We make the Serendipity Quilts a year in advance,” Sterkel said. “Members put a lot of work into them, and we hope the winner will be thrilled with this beautiful quilt.”

A Challenge Quilt category is featured again this year, with members creating artistic quilts with a sunshine theme. And the Heritage Quilt category will feature quilts from mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers.

The Panhandle Quilt Guild, organized in 1991, has more than 100 members from communities around the Panhandle. Some of the towns represented include Chadron and Crawford, Kimball, Sidney, Alliance, Morrill, Minatare, Bridgeport, as well and Gering and Scottsbluff.
“Quilting is sort of a dying art, so we try to get young people involved in the quilting process and everything that goes into it,” Sterkel said. “Quilts can be made of almost anything.”

Guild members meet monthly in different locations around the Panhandle from September through June. Their mission is to contribute to the growth, appreciation and knowledge of quilting and its rich history. Meetings will usually feature speakers and demonstrators sharing their knowledge about quilting.

Members also make tote bags, crib quilts and pillow pals to distribute to children’s service agencies like CAPstone and CASA of Scotts Bluff County.
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