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February 14, 2014

The Threads That Bind opens 'season'

TIFTON —

A Season of Quilts begins with Phase I: The Threads That Bind Sunday as the Wiregrass Quilters Challenge Quilts Exhibit opens at the Tifton Museum of Arts and Heritage. The opening party begins at 1 p.m. 

Many of the quilts tell the story of a person who has overcome serious challenges in their lives. One of these is Addie Wilcox, a Tifton resident who, at 88 years of age, still prepares dinner for her family and friends each Sunday. 

Her story quilt, designed and crafted by Christine Benefield, features a sweet potato pie in the center of the quilt, along with other foods, expressing Wilcox's desire to care for others through the preparation of meals. Surrounding the food are silhouettes of four influential people in Wilcox's life: her father, maternal grandmother, mother and her father's aunt. 

"These four people were instrumental in forming her life, and gave her a strong work ethic," Benefield said. 

Wilcox was humbled to be selected as the focus of one of the quilts. "I'm surprised they picked me – I'm nobody," she said with a laugh. 

The quilts are as diverse as the lives they represent, but each tells a story, bringing to mind the common threads that tie us all together, which is what event organizers are hoping for. Marion Curry and Syd Blackmarr brought the idea from Savannah, where they attended a similar event. 

"We wanted the series of events to be something that includes everybody in the community…the anchor is our theme, The Threads That Bind," said Curry. 

The exhibit will continue through March 22, and will include quilting demonstrations, as well as the quilters and partners telling their shared stories. 

Another activity will allow visitors to create a quilt square using felt provided by organizers. Questions will be provided such as, "What can I do to make the world better?" and visitors can be creative as they answer their chosen question. The squares will all be joined together to make a community quilt. 

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