Story last updated at 3:02 p.m. Thursday, May 16, 2002

Quilters reflect universal themes in show
By Carey James
Staff Writer

photo: entertainment
  Photo by Carey James, Homer News
"Twin Towers," by Samantha Cunningham, generated discussion and remembrance.  
Quilters from around the community displayed their wares last weekend, showing again the extreme diversity within this timeless artistic medium.

More than 80 quilts filled the Homer Elk's Lodge with colorful patterns ranging from historic patterns, with every stitch done by hand, to a work inspired by the events of Sept. 11.

"Twin Towers," by Samantha Cunningham inspired plenty of discussion and even a few tears of remembrance. The quilt creatively recreated the image of the burning towers in intricate detail. Beads randomly fell from the towers like glass, and black mesh billowed out of the top just as the smoke had after two hijacked jets slammed into the New York skyscrapers. Around the border of the quilt, newspaper clippings, including comic strips, taken from the days following the crash circled the towers.

Cunningham said the quilt was her way of dealing with strong feelings after the tragedy, especially in the days following the crash.

photo: entertainment
  Photo by Carey James, Homer News
Visitors gaze at three of the 80 intricately designed quilts exhibited in last weekend's show.  
"In the morning, my world still looked the same <> blue sky, falling leaves, snow-capped mountains. But something inside felt broken," she wrote in her artist's statement. "Distance was not a defense against this kind of tragedy."

As she worked on the quilt, it became an outlet.

"Little by little, I hope to mend the broken part inside as the stitches go onto the fabric," she said.

Cunningham's quilt took second in the medium-size viewer's choice awards. In that category, Erin Fisher's traditional "Irish Chain," a light green and white hand-quilted work, took first, while "Toadstool Fantasy" by Ruth and Harold Gnad tied with Dana Beasley's "Jacobean Flowers" for third.

In the large quilt category, Eileen Wythe's "Triad Interlock" took first place. The quilt stood out from the show in part because of its dark color scheme featuring maroon and gold on a black background. Second place went to Marie Walli for "Starry night," while Eileen Edler took third with "Tulip Garden."

In the small-quilts category, Beth Schroer's intricately detailed hand quilting took first place, while Abby Fuller's "Attic Windows with Leaves and Spider Webs," took second. A quilt by "Lady Jane" of flowers in a vase took third.

One of the event organizers said the show mirrors the diversity of Homer's quilters, and this year's show featured more hand-quilted works than in previous years, both those made recently and those handed down from the past.

"Quilting has become more popular over the years," Adair said. "All the quilts are beautiful. It seems like they get more wonderful every year."

All of this year's winners are reminded that there are gifts waiting for them at Seams To Be Fabric Shop on Ocean Drive.