Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Appreciating quilt art at the cathedral October 4, 2010

A banner in front of the Cathedral of Our Merciful Saviour along Second Avenue N.W. in Faribault draws visitors to the Rice County Piecemakers Quilt Show.

AS MUCH AS I ENJOYED the Rice County Piecemakers Fall Splendor Quilt Show at the Cathedral of Our Merciful Saviour in Faribault this past weekend, I was nagged by guilt.

First, my paternal grandma was a quilter. Therefore, it seems I should be genetically predisposed to quilting. But I am not.

Second, I won a door prize—a stash of fabric pieces—that I was delighted to win because I like to win. The patches were even in my favorite color, green. But, because I don’t quilt, I almost felt like I should return the prize to be awarded to some deserving quilter. I didn’t. Instead, I gave the pieces to my friend Marilynn and her daughter Kellie, who are beginning quilters.

Third, several of the quilters asked if I was a quilter. I replied that I made several baby quilts more than 20 years ago and that I sewed nearly all of my clothes when I was a teenager. I don’t think they were impressed. But it was the best I could offer.

Really, these quilters were very nice and they do some mighty fine work. Their quilts are works of art, masterpieces, examples of detailed stitchery and creativity that leaves me wishing I possessed even an ounce of their talent.

Pam Schuenke received the Viewer's First Choice Award in the Challenge Division for her 28-inch square pineapple block pattern creation. She pieced together 150 fabric swatches into nine blocks and added some autumn pizazz by blanket-stitching the seams with gold metallic thread. Entrants in the Challenge Division had to visibly incorporate five specific fabrics into their quilt pieces. Pam also won the top award in the miscellaneous category with an oriental table runner. She's been a Piecemakers member since the late 1980s.

Rows of quilts hung in the cathedral's Guild House.

Quilts and stained glass complemented each other.

Brenda Langworthy created this whimsical "Dog Show" quilt.

Some of the challenge quilts, which included five selected fabrics.

Twyla Sporre quilted "Pop Goes the Weasel" in the challenge competition of the Piecemakers exhibit.

The Piecemakers laid quilts across the 50 some pews in the sanctuary. A total of 200 quilts were shown through-out the church complex. Visitors were asked to vote for their favorites in the following categories: bed quilts, throws/lap quilts, baby items, wall hangings, miscellaneous and challenge quilts.

These adorable quilted bear potholders were on sale in the dining room.

Mary Peterson created "My Fine Sweet Girls," and here's one of those sweet girls.

THE RICE COUNTY PIECEMAKERS meet from 7 – 9 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month at Fourth Avenue United Methodist Church, 219 N.W. Fourth Avenue, Faribault. Meetings feature speakers, demonstrations, and “show and tell.” There are no dues and the club’s motto is “Sewing friendships one stitch at a time.”

© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


5 Responses to “Appreciating quilt art at the cathedral”

  1. sartenada Says:

    Those are awesome quilts!!! I like the most of all the last photo. It is so cute showing a young girls picking up flowers. Also I like very much about those bear quilts. It is so pleasant to see how these bears are smiling, it gives to my heart a good feeling. The place of quilt show was to me a little bit confusing. Here we have normally quilting and patchwork shows in libraries or in some folk high schools. Biggest are hold in some centers of cities.

    I am very glad that I could see this exhibition of quilts, because my wife is quilting. That is why a man can be interested in them.

    I do not know if You have any idea how in my country we quilting, in case to see the “differencies” if there are any, then:


    Thank You very much for this interesting post.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      I checked out your photos from Finland’s largest-ever quilt exhibit in March 2010. The quilts, like those in Faribault, are absolutely stunning.

      As for the location of the quilt show, the Cathedral of Our Merciful Saviour seems the ideal venue, matching the rich history of the church with the rich history of quilting. Although I have not been to another quilt show, I’m pretty certain they are also held in schools, community centers and anywhere with adequate space.

      Also, men quilt here, too. I know of a man who creates the most beautiful quilts.

      Thanks for sharing Finnish quilts with us.

  2. lael koster Says:

    i really enjoyed the show, the church was beatiful! all the quilts were very pretty, hard to pick a favorite. i would make the trip again. how many fat quarters were in the jar?? just wondered, i must of guessed wrong being i didn’t win. keep on “quilting”.

  3. Diana K Flint Says:

    Lovely quilts. How does one get patterns for the one by Mary Petersen’s My Fine Sweet Girls/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.