Quilts come in all colors, sizes and shapes and many feature a historical or family history component, making them even more special. This week the public has the opportunity to enjoy more than 90 beautiful quilts shared with members of the Log Cabin Quilters' Guild.
The Guild sponsors a free show during the Mountain State Forest Festival, and this year's display will have a special component: 20 of Jean Talbott's quilts borrowed from her family.
Talbott was one of the original founding members of the Log Cabin Quilters' Guild. She was vice president, chairperson of readers and coordinator of Region 3 for the West Virginia Heritage Quilt search which, with Ohio University Press, published the book, "West Virginia Quilts and Quiltmakers: Echoes From the Hills."
Members of the Log Cabin Quilters’ Guild prepare for the opening of their Quilt Show today at the Elkins Randolph County YMCA. Hanging quilts are, from left, Joan Jackson and Kitty Lee. (The Inter-Mountain photo by Beth Christian Broschart)
The quilt show also offers a display of local youth quilts, including 10 created by the summer quilting students at the Elkins Sewing Center.
The Log Cabin Quilters' Guild Quilt Show is hosted by the Elkins YMCA, located at 400 Davis Ave. Hours for the show are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The show will feature quilts and a boutique where quilted and hand-made items may be purchased. Quilter Kitty Lee is coordinating this year's show. Members of the guild were busy Wednesday setting up the show.
"We hope everyone will stop by the YMCA to see our many quilts," Lee said. "It is fun to enjoy the varied artistry of the quilts - some of the beauty lies in the pattern and others in the colors."
Lee said the quilt show is free to everyone, thanks to some very generous donors. Last year, the Log Cabin Quilters' Guild quilt show attracted more than 1,200 visitors.
"The quilts have all been made in the last five years, and offer a variety of techniques including hand-quilting, sewing-matching quilting, applique, cross stitch and dimensional art," Lee said. "The show is not judged - it is merely for enjoyment."
Members of the Log Cabin Quilters' Guild offer many community service projects through the year.
In February, the group makes "luvies." These have been donated to several groups over the years, including Elkins Rehabilitation and Care Center, Youth Health Services, cancer patients, the Blue Angels, the United Way, Ronald McDonald House, Women's Aid in Crisis, Good Samaritan, Mountain Hospice, Hospice Care Corporation, WIC of Elkins, Nella's Nursing Home, Iveagh Trust, Mansfield Place, the Randolph County Homeless Shelter, Valentine's Personal Care Home, Courtland Acres, Talbott's Personal Care Center, Jennings Randolph Elementary School, the Darby Family Center, the Child Advocacy Center and new mothers at St. Joseph's Hospital.
In 2012, guild members assembled and donated more than 50 "luvies." Many of the supplies used to craft the lap quilts are donated by Sue Pifer and the Elkins Sewing Center.
Another major project is the Guild's quilts for dialysis patients. The group makes full-size quilts to donate to those taking dialysis treatments.
The guild welcomes new members of any age. Members encourage interest in quilting through learning and sharing, expanding a circle of friends with a common interest in quilting and providing an environment that motivates creativity and improving skills.
The group meets at 7 p.m. at the Elkins Rehabilitation and Care Center the first Thursday of each month. Meetings include a guest speaker or member that teaches a new skill or technique.
Additional information about the Log Cabin Quilters' Guild is available by calling Kitty Lee at 304-636-8619.