For the past 23 years, a group of women have been working together to make quilts to display during the annual Pufferbilly Days Quilt Show at the Boone County Historical Society (BCHS).
Belle Cleaveland, one of the original members of the group, said the quilt show got started after Audley Weston, another member, went to a quilt show and thought a similar show should take place at the Historical Society as a fundraiser.
During the early years, a pattern was chosen for that year’s quilt, then the women were given quilt blocks and instructed to use the applique technique (sewing pieces of fabric onto the quilt block) to replicate the pattern. Cleaveland said the women were advised what colors or designs to use when making the pattern so each quilt block would look good with the others.
Once all the blocks were finished, members of the group would meet on Mondays in the weeks leading up to the quilt show to start putting the quilt together. Up until a few years ago, the quilts were hand-quilted. Now that Burge has a machine that can do the quilting, the quilts are machine-quilted.
Aside from specifications to follow when making the quilt blocks, Cleaveland said they only had one other “rule” quilting members had to follow: “If you stick your finger (with a needle), you couldn’t bleed,” Cleaveland said with a laugh.
In preparation for the quilt show, the group would partition off the upper room at the BCHS into smaller rooms that were decorated to match the quilts that would be displayed in each little “room.” Some of the quilt designs would have kitchen-related patterns, placing them in the “kitchen,” while others would be suitable for a bedspread, so they were displayed in the “bedroom.”
During its peak, the quilt show would bring in as many as 150 quilts to put on display. Anyone can enter a quilt into the show, even if they didn’t make it themselves, said member June Burge.
“You can re-show a quilt, but not within two years,” Cleaveland said.
In years past, they would have featured quilters’ quilts on display. That is how Burge got involved. Her daughter had attended the show and told organizers about the quilts Burge had made. Burge was selected to be the featured quilter and has been a member of the group ever since.
Some of the quilts on display during the show are for sale, and will be marked as such. A rummage sale for quilters has also been added to the show. The sale include tools and equipment needed for quilting. Proceeds from the sales go to the Boone County Historical Society.
This year’s quilt show will take place Sept. 9-11 at the Boone History Center, 602 Story St., Boone. Those who wish to have a quilt entered in the show can fill out an entry form available on the BCHS website, boonecountyhistory.org, or at the History Center.
For more information about the Quilt Show, contact BCHS by calling 515-432-1907 or by emailing email@example.com.