Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

March 18, 2013

Quilt show opens to crowds

Tim Preston
The Independent

ASHLAND — Even on a sunny day, quilts have a way of warming people’s hearts.

More than 200 people took their time and paid attention to the details during the opening day of the “Century of Quilts” quilt show at Highlands Museum and Discovery Center in downtown Ashland Saturday. Often drawing attention to favorites among the new and old textile works, the crowd included many experienced quilters as well as incidental guests who found the collected works fascinating.

Organizer Nancy Osborne, whose wristwatch reflects her passion for the precision of quilted art, said the ongoing exhibit features many works on loan from the estate of quilter Fannie Hatfield. Osborne explained Hatfield was an experienced quilter who was also instrumental in forming the alliance of area quilting clubs and organizations which now sew on behalf of hospice organizations. It was an effort which spread from a sewing shop in Greenup, she said, and then crossed the river to Ohio before picking up support from quilters in Carter County.

“There’s now 52 quilters,” Osborne said with a smile before explaining Hatfield passed away last year. The quilter’s daughters loaned 27 of Hatfield’s quilts for the “Century of Quilts” show, she noted.

The exhibit lives up to the title with tradional and historic quilts created more than 100 years ago, as well as contemporary designs which many consider to be functional art. Osborne said many of the exhibit’s “art quilts” were sewn by Karen Young.

“She is a lefty quilter and she trained me! She was a tradition quilter and went to art,” Osborne said, noting the nature themes among Young’s bold and colorful quilt panels.

Osborne said the quilt show will remain on exhibit at the museum through the end of the month and possibly beyond if there is enough demand. The show is part of National Quilt Month, and timed to coincide with Quilter’s Day Out on the third Saturday of the month. Osborne pointed out the Quilter’s Day Out event was born in Kentucky and has since grown to be an international celebration of the art.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com.