MUNCY, Pa. – Quilting is not just a hobby, it’s also an art. One that an older generation is making sure is preserved. Locally, a group has been ensuring audiences can continue to experience the beauty and the history of quilts by putting on an annual Quilt Show hosted by the Muncy Historical Society. This year, the 15th Annual Quilt show will be held July 19-20, 2019 at First United Methodist Church, 602 S. Market Street.

The show has been held in Muncy since 2005. Linda Poulton was one of people responsible for beginning the annual event. She had the idea to hold a quilt show after meeting a quilt collector when she was volunteering at Warrior Run Heritage Days. Poulton, along with Judith Costello and several other volunteers, help to organize the annual show. The first show was held at Geringer Fire Hall in Muncy. “We also had wool coverlets at that first show,” Poulton said.

The quilt show grew quickly, and eventually it moved to the Ward L. Myers Elementary School and Muncy Junior-Senior High School before going to its present location at First United Methodist Church.

“The show is different than most shows,” Poulton said. “Most of the shows you see in the state are guild. What makes our show different is that we have antique and vintage quilts and you don’t have to be a guild member to submit.”

This year, esteemed quilters Arlan and Pat Christ will be participating in the show. The Christs, of Kutztown, Pa., are bringing a collection of 18thand 19th century quilts featuring Americana themes with stars and stripes and eagles. They enjoy traveling to quilt shows and museums which provide the opportunity to examine quilts. Retrieving knowledge to secure the heritage of antique quilts has become the prime objective of The Christ Collection.  

The Christs have further explored their passion for antique quilts while attending quilt study groups. They are members of the Lehigh Valley Quilt Study Group, Mid-Atlantic Quilt Study Group, American Quilt Study Group, Quilter’s Hall of Fame, Midwest Fabric Study Group and Baltimore Applique Society. Their various collections – Four Blocks, Applique, Civil War Period Treasures, Cheddar, to name a few – have been exhibited throughout the Mid-Atlantic states and New England.  The Christs are historians who also have written numerous books, Poulton added.

Every show has a challenge theme. This year’s theme is “Stars.” A three-person panel will judge the challenge quilt entries and 1st, 2nd and 3r d place ribbons will be awarded for wall and bed quilt categories. The challenge is open to all quilters and registration forms are available online or by email. Poulton said they have already selected the challenge theme for next year – log cabins, “That coincides with the local anniversary of Muncy Farms, 250 years,” Poulton said.

One other popular component of the show is the Quilters Rummage Sale, which will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, July 20. “If you’re really interested, you’ll have to get up early because they line up,” Poulton said. The rummage sale will feature a wide variety of material being sold by the pound, books, kits, quilter tools and other quilt-related paraphernalia. Amadeus books and notecards and the Society’s historic patterns also will be available for purchase. The Christs will hold a lecture following the rummage sale.

Workshops will be offered this year. The workshop schedule is as follows:

Thursday, July 18, 1 – 4 p.m.

“Star Embroidery–Stumpwork”

Workshop: $35

In addition to being creative, the Pennsylvania Germans were also thrifty. “Star Embroidery," or as the Pennsylvania Germans refer to as “Stumpwork”, has been in existence over 120 years. This type of wool embroidery was generally done on closely woven fabrics that were being recycled from worn clothes or household items. Leftover yarn from other projects was used with a tin star pattern that was made by the local tinsmith. There was never any waste in the household of a Pennsylvania German.

Attendees will be making a “Star Embroidery” block in class while learning the interesting technique of “Stumpwork.” This block can be used to create a pin cushion, Christmas ornament or to continue to make additional blocks for a larger project. A handout will include everything you need except for a pair of small scissors with a sharp point that you should bring along.

Handout includes the following (included in the price of workshop) to make your “Stumpwork” block: Background fabric; tin template; needle; instruction with diagram; and wool yarn for three colors.

Friday, July 19, 9 a.m.-noon.

“Muncy Lyre” Block

Workshop: $35

This workshop is based on a circa 1840 Quaker quilt that came from the Gahn family with its origins in Muncy, Pennsylvania. The original bed quilt measures 98” x 101”, has 9 stitches per inch, 16 blocks; the green print fabric was used for the lyre and the sashing.  Pat will present a technique which showcases smooth curves and crisp points without stress. For any quilter who enjoys applique or wants to learn, this workshop is for them.

 Saturday, July 20, 11 a.m.

“American Pride”

Lecture: $10  

American pride is normally displayed in the form of eagles and stars representing the patriotism of this great country. The “American Pride” lecture will showcase quilts that were made to represent individual and ethnic pride which includes a simple four patch quilt with a star block in the center signed proudly by its maker, Albert Seidle.

The lecture will also include the “Captain James Andrew Quilt.” Captain Andrew was a steamboat captain on the Chesapeake while living in Baltimore, MD. Join the Christs for the journey they took finding the story behind the “Baltimore Album” quilt that was made by the captain’s wife representing their wedding in 1849. Family history states the 25-block quilt was sewn while Elizabeth joined her husband on the steamboat—and that is just the beginning of this fascinating story.

The audience for the quilt show has grown over the years to not only include quilters, but also art lovers, crafters and history buffs. “People who come to the show recognize their artistry and the amount of time and attention they put into it,” Poulton said. “We’ve even had men and they also come back the next year.”

One of the primary groups who are part of the show’s organization, The Vintage Gatherers, seeks to share quilting with generations to come. They meet monthly at the Muncy Historical Society. The quilting group is highly regarded in the area for their hand and machine quilting, Poulton said. They are older women “who are really dedicated to preserving the craft. They are true artists.”  

To accommodate the growing number of attendees from out of the town, the show organizers have arranged a discount with Copper Roof Bed and Breakfast at 580 Village Road, Pennsdale. Reservations may be made by contacting www.copperroofbb.com, email copperroofbb@windstream.net or call 570-546-6377. Attendees should mention the quilt show to get the discount.