Volunteers, staff turn Motherhouse into quilt exhibit hall

October 5, 2011 by

For a special slideshow featuring samples from the exhibits, CLICK HERE.

Volunteers from quilt guilds throughout north central Kansas, along with sisters and staff members, pitched in Wednesday to turn the Nazareth Motherhouse into the main exhibit hall for this weekend’s KS 150 QuiltFest.

Nearly 220 quilts from across Kansas and across time will be on display Friday and Saturday (Oct. 7 and 8). And 16 of those quilts — including a Harley-Davidson quilt made by Sister Betty Suther — will be sold at an auction Saturday evening, with all bidders invited to attend.

The first-ever event includes quilt displays, quilting demonstrations, a vendors’ hall and a “quilters’ thrift shop,” all to benefit Neighbor to Neighbor, the women’s center in downtown Concordia.

The two main exhibit sites will be:

• Nazareth Motherhouse at 13th and Washington streets. Displays there will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. Friday and from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Tours of the landmark 1902 building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, will also be available during those times.

• Living Hope Foursquare Church, 129 W. Sixth St. Displays there will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

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The Cloud County Museum, 634 Broadway, will also have its collection of vintage quilts on display.

Throughout the two-day event, there will also be quilting demonstrations, vendors and the thrift shop — featuring quilting fabric, notions, patterns and books — at Living Hope Foursquare Church.

On Friday evening beginning at 7 there’s a special free “quilters’ social” at the Concordia Lutheran Church, 325 E. Eighth St.  The evening includes a presentation by Debbie Devine of Salina, who performs as Rose Kretsinger, who was at the heart of what has been called “the Emporia, Kansas phenomenon,” a small group of women who produced some of the 20th century’s finest quilts.

Kretsinger was born in Hope, Kan., and studied design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, graduating in 1908. She studied in Europe for a year, then returned to Chicago and designed jewelry. After marrying, she moved to Emporia with her husband. In 1926, she made her first quilt, initially finding the handwork a consoling form of therapy after her mother’s death.

In Devine’s presentation, she tells the life story of the late Kretsinger and talks about her philosophy of quilting.

Admission for all the displays and other daytime events both Friday and Saturday is $5, with children younger than 12 admitted free with an adult. Each admission includes one ticket to the Saturday evening drawing for one of two quilts. Additional tickets for the quilt drawings will also be for sale, for $2 each or five for $5. Admission and drawing tickets will be available at both the Motherhouse and Living Hope Church.

The QuiltFest’s featured event will be the quilt auction Saturday evening at the parish hall of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., with the auction scheduled to begin about 7:45. There is no admission charge to take part in the auction.

There will be 16 quilts for the auction, including the Harley-Davidson quilt featuring logos of the motorcycle company in the trademark black, brown and orange colors. Donors were asked to give at least a portion of the proceeds to Neighbor to Neighbor.

The center opened in May 2010 at 103 E. Sixth St. and is operated by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia for women and women with young children. Its staff is made up of Sisters Pat McLennon, Jean Befort and Ramona Medina, along with a growing cadre of volunteers.

From Monday through Friday, the sisters and volunteers offer classes and services that range from one-on-one tutoring for GED exams and book studies to providing a place to do laundry or take showers and classes in sewing, baking, lacemaking and household budgeting. Individual counseling services are also available as needed, as is help in navigating the social services maze. And, for some moms, the center has become a place to go with their young children, to give the kids a chance to play and the women a chance to befriend other moms.

There is never any cost to the women taking part; all the programs are offered free, with funding coming from the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, a handful of grants and individual donations. The QuiltFest marks the first time proceeds from an event will benefit the center.

Sponsors of the KS 150 QuiltFest include the Knot-Tea Ladies Quilt Guild of Glasco, Kan., Cloud County Convention and Tourism, Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, Stained Glass Stitchers of Concordia, Concordia Lutheran Church  and Living Hope Foursquare Church.


5 Responses to “Volunteers, staff turn Motherhouse into quilt exhibit hall”

  1. Liebe Pellerin on October 6th, 2011 10:46 am

    I just came back from a “preview” of the quilt show. It’s an experience of a lifetime….such beauty, such dedication and skill. “Oh, beauty, ever ancient ever new” ! Thanks for the quilters and all the volunteers who lent a helping hand for such a display.

  2. Ellen Roche Lewelling on October 6th, 2011 9:57 am

    Wow! the pictures are wonderful. My daughter, Leah, and I are both quilters but are unable to drive to Concordia for the show,although we would love to! The pictures are so inviting!! Congratulations!

  3. Rosemary Foreman on October 6th, 2011 9:48 am

    I had just about talked myself out of coming to the QuiltFest, but now with the pictures I may need to gas-up my car anyway.

  4. Jeanette Wasinger, csj on October 6th, 2011 8:07 am

    What great pictures! I was concerned when I thought of the beauty of quilts. I can look at one for a long time and I see the elegance. To focus on 200 quilts is almost too much beauty! But, what a gift to be in their midst. They have all been made with dedication, creativity, love and great patience to work until the details bring it to a finished work of art! The Motherhouse auditorium, the auditorium foyer, and the south dining room give the quilts a place to feel at home! I am eager to see the Living Hope Foursquare Church display. What a wonderful event for Concordia!

  5. Loretta Jasper on October 2nd, 2011 6:59 am

    Sorry I will miss it. My family of quilters will be well represented: Marilyn Hunt (sister), Leona Flavin (sister), Karin O’Rielly (neice).

    THE non-quilter

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