Quilts on display at Fort Steuben Visitors Center

STEUBENVILLE – An exhibit of quilts made or owned by local residents will be on display at the Fort Steuben Visitors Center through April 26. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays.

This annual exhibit features a colorful selection of quilts reflecting the variety and traditions of the popular craft.

“Among the patterns featured in this year’s show are well known classics like Log Cabin, Trip Around the World, Dresden Plate, Drunkard’s Path and Tumbling Blocks as well as newer designs like Fujita Maze and Hot Chocolate & Lilac,” said Judy Bratten, director of Historic Fort Steuben.

“Some of the quilts are old, hand sewn, family heirlooms while others were recently pieced and machine stitched. But each one is unique and shows the creativity of its maker,” she said.

Many of the quilts come with a story, according to Bratten. Sharon Petrilla’s Block of the Month Quilt took first place at the 2011 Jefferson County Fair. The Trip Around the World Quilt displayed by Yvonne Habowski contains 1,925 1-and-one-half-inch squares from 35 fabrics. Lucky Stars is the first quilt made by Christina Collins and “started what I didn’t know at the time was to be my love of red and white quilts.” Llelia Buffone’s Family Mementoes Quilt is just that – 35 squares from T-shirts representing family vacations, events, accomplishments and favorites.

One quilt was submitted by teenager Angela Schroeck who described how her mother, Leslie; grandmother, Mary Beth; and great-grandmother, Mary; worked to embroider and sew the quilt that has been a part of Schroeck’s life since she was young.

“One of the appeals of this craft is that it is so personal yet offers beauty and warmth even if you don’t know the story behind it,” noted Bratten.

In addition to the quilt show, a program on the early American craft of spinning and weaving will be presented by historian Vicki Duhamel at 1 p.m. Saturday. Entitled “Handspun Yarns: An Introduction,” the program will cover the types of fibers available, how to fiber prep and spin the yarns, the types of spinning wheels, finishing the yarn, types of dyes and when to dye, working with handspun yarns and finally caring for the items made. There will be several wheels available for hands-on learning.

The exhibit is free; a $5 donation is requested for the program.

Fort Steuben is located at 120 S. Third St. For information, call (740) 283-1787.