Quilt airing draws visitors
BY ROBERT L. BAKER
Wyoming County Press Examiner
Although Mother Nature hasn’t blessed us with a hard frost yet, it’s time to pull out the quilts.
Yes, it’s the first Saturday in October, and that means its time to give your quilt an airing as Tunkhannock celebrates ‘Airing of the Quilts.’
For 11 years now, homes and businesses along Tioga Street in Tunkhannock (and all of the feeder streets besides) will display colorful quilts on porches, fences and storefronts have put their indelible mark on the event, and visitors from near and far “love it.”
Started in 2002 as a joint project with the Wyoming County United Way, Jeanette Kitlan said the quilt airing has become “a very big deal,” and not just for the marketing side of her quilting business, Endless Mountains QuiltWorks on West Tioga Street.
There is no one best way to do the airing, but for starters you shouldn’t be in a hurry.
“Quilts are made to be appreciated,” Tunkhannock Mayor Norm Ball said, so don’t think you’re going to do the speed limit in town and take it all in.
In all likelihood, if it’s Saturday and you’re on Tioga Street, the car in front of you won’t let you.
But, if you’re on foot, there’ll be ample opportunity to walk up and down the street, and savor more than 200 quilts on display outdoors with another 150 quilts exhibited indoors at several different locations around town.
You can check out a first generation quilter exhibit, for instance, at Nativity BVM’s Father Nallin Hall and be awed by three decades worth of work by Towanda quilter Louise Schelter.
The marquis may say ‘first generation’ but the quilts reveal something more than that.
A block away at the Dietrich Theater, you can check out an exhibit of Tunkhannock quilter Kent Ward who formerly was an editor for Quilting Today and a couple of sister publications.
Inside the Dietrich at 11 a.m., if you want to give your feet a rest you can take in a talk by Joyce Hughes, a certified Pennsylvania fiber artist, on a “Journey into Quilting.”
Over at the Wyoming County Courthouse, lest you think that quilting is mostly for the ladies in your life, check out a wonderful display called “Men in Quilting” which features the work of 81-year-old Jack Odgers and Tim Sorber, who celebrates his 69th birthday, appropriately, on Saturday.
Then, if you’re not wiped out, mosey over to the Tunkhannock Area Middle School which will have a Pennsylvania Invitational Quilt Showing involving around 100 of the best looking quilts around, as well as vendors who support the quilting craft.
Finally, just south of town, the folks of Eatonville United Methdist Church have reached into their old trunks and are showing 125 years of effort by past and present members.
They as well as other vendors will have food on hand in case your hunger is not completely filled by what you’re seeing.
Also down at Nativity and just outside the Courthouse, other vendors will be available 71-year-old to whet your appetite.
And then don’t forget about Kitlan’s business which is an institution in a class by itself.
Of course, a Tunkhannock community that embraces this kind of day once out of 365, probably has some other things to do quilt-wise the rest of the year, and we also lift up ongoing classes at the Dietrich Theater/Wyoming County Cultural Center, offered on Wednesdays.
“Quilting for Kids” for ages six and up meets 3:30 -5 p.m., and ‘Quilting for Everyone’ is for ages 13 and up and meets 6-7:30 p.m.
Also, in the basement of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church is a group that meets Tuesday mornings, comprised of Armistice Nahlik, Elaine Corey, Suzanne Wilkinson and Colleen Williams that makes about 14 ugly quilts a year for the homeless.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg, Kitlan will tell you.
Her bottom line is to enjoy for just one day, and then you’ll want to come back.
For more information, call Endless Mountains Quiltworks located in the Towne Plaza Shopping Center on Rt. 6 next to Pizza Hut at 836-7575, or visit online www.EMQuiltworks.com or www.AiringoftheQuilts.com.