Tunkhannock airs out its quilts
BY PATRICK LEONARD
Wyoming County Press Examiner
Not even a light drizzle seemed to dampen the mood of the people who showed up in Tunkhannock for the 11th Annual Airing of the Quilts on Saturday.
Hundreds of local people walked around town during the course of the day’s events, with well over 1,000 more out-of-towners, who came from such places as Reading, Harrisburg, Stroudsburg, Syracuse, N.Y., and even Ohio- some on charter buses.
Quilt displays dotted town including ones at the Tunkhannock Area Middle School, the Dietrich Theater, the Wyoming County Courthouse, and Nativity B.V.M. Church.
In addition, most homes and businesses along Tioga Street, downtown, got in on the act, displaying their own quilts from windows, porches, storefronts and fences
“Everything today has just gone fantastically,” Jeanette Kitlan, who runs Endless Mountains Quiltworks said proudly. “Every year we say we are going to run this rain or shine and, despite the poor weather, people come out and are so excited. We actually got lucky with the weather today. The rain mostly held off.”
The annual quilt day was Kitlan’s idea and she has been spearheading the event for the past 11 years.
The Dietrich Theater held a quilt display of local designer Kent Ward, plus a presentation by nationally renowned quilt designer, Joyce Hughes of Warminster.
Hughes told the audience the story of how she got into quilting accidentally, only five years ago, and how she often ignored the criticisms of other designers, trusting her own instincts instead.
Hughes brought along several of her quilts to display to the 150 audience members in attendance. Afterwards, she decided to make a day of it.
“I was planning to leave after my presentation but there is just so much enthusiasm here about quilting that I couldn’t leave,” Hughes said. “I was very impressed with a lot of the local talent and Jeannette is so passionate about the whole day.”
Approximately 1,200 people visited the middle school to check out the invitational work of 100 reqional quilters, whose passion for the age-old craft was evident everywhere.
Sarah Scranta, Kitlan’s daughter, said that she received a lot of positive feedback from those attending the invitational show.
The courthouse held a special exhibit entitled ‘Men in Quilting,’ in which all of the quilts on display were designed by men. Throngs of people packed the courthouse all day to see the talent of such local men as Jack Odgers of Tunkhannock, Tim Sorber of Dalton and Michael Coveney of Wayne on display.
Over at Nativity BVM Church, Towanda quilter Louise Schelter shared 30 years of quilts in a “First Generation” show that had some folks fooled by the title.
While the planning of the day’s events and the actual work itself was quite taxing for all of those involved, Kitlan said she was having a blast.
“Hopefully the entire town is enjoying this,” she said.