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.
Other activities during Phase I include:
• Saturday, March 1 - Opening Party
Story Quilts by Beth Mount
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Renowned New York City artist and Georgia native Beth Mount’s massive and exquisite quilts reveal stories of individual resilience, celebrating ways people blossom and contribute to community, particularly in the face of difficulty.
Remarks by Beth Mount – 7 p.m.
• Exhibit continues March 3 - 22
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Thursday, 1 - 7 p.m.; Sunday, 1 – 3 p.m.
SPECIAL EVENTS DURING THE EXHIBIT
• National Public Radio’s StoryCorps in the museum: Record your personal story with a friend or relative.
• Sunday, March 9: 2 p.m. Local lawyers and preachers: Stories that entertain and inspire
• Thursday, March 13, 14 and 16: Storyteller-in-residence Jeanette Waddell helps folks participate in the NPR StoryCorps opportunity
• Saturday, March 15: 9 a.m. to noon at the Tifton-Tift County Library: Building support for my family member with a disability: A presentation for families and people with disabilities
• Sunday, March 16: 2 p.m., The Waddie Welcome Story, told by Tom Kohler;A powerful story of a man born with severe disabilities,
who moved beyond life in an institution to inspire an entire community with new possibilities.
• Sunday, March 16: 2 p.m. Storyteller-in-Residence Jeanette Waddell
• Wednesday and Thursday, March 19 - 20: Special morning field trips, 9: a.m.- 1 p.m.; Andy Irwin, children’s storyteller-in-residence
ignites Tift schools’ fifth graders' imaginations
Phase II: Celebration of Barn Quilting and More, will take place at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village, from March 29 through April 30. Activities during this phase include:
• Saturday, March 29
Dedication and Unveiling: Churn Dash Wiregrass Barn Quilt Block
Opry Stage & Grounds
Paintings of large, colorful quilt blocks on the sides of barns can be traced back 300 years in America history. The GMA and Historic Village are participating in this tradition by creating and hanging a very large quilt block typical of the Wiregrass area and the GMA’s time period. The Churn Dash block will be mounted permanently on the side of the Opry Shelter in view of both locals and I-75 travelers. Painted by the Wiregrass Quilter’s Guild, local artists and volunteers, the dedication and unveiling are highlights of a quilter’s picnic.
• Friday, April 4, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
• Saturday. April 5, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
GMA Conference Room
Wiregrass Quilter’s American Legacy Quilt Exhibit
A showcase of the Wiregrass region’s finest quilters, representing traditional and contemporary methods, patterns and fabrics.
• April 4– April 30
Her World in Quilts by Sue Turnquist - GMA Gallery
A display by the 2013 American Legacy Viewers’ Choice quilter
To contact editor Angye Morrison, call 382-4321.