Quilts Around the Block delights
COZAD — A potpourri of events was held in Cozad this weekend in conjunction with Quilts Around the Block, an event held every two years to showcase and celebrate quilts.
A photography display of barns by Kathy Chase was displayed at Rustic and Red in Cozad.
Chase’s photography exhibit, titled "A Nebraska Barn Journey," featured 27 framed and matted Nebraska barn prints and a 13-inch by 28-inch acrylic cutout in the shape of the state with a barn shown from each county.
To celebrate the 100th birthday of the Wilson Public Library, 100 barn quilts were placed inside the library for visitors to view.
Quilts and barn quilts were also on display at the 100th Meridian Museum and filled Chipper Hall. The guest speaker of Quilts Around the Block was Suzi Parron, a barn quilt instructor and historian on the subject.
On Friday, a free showing of the documentary "Pieced Together," was shown at Chipper Hall. The film talks about the rise of the barn quilt trend across the country, beginning with Donna Sue Groves, in rural Adams County, Ohio.
Julie Geiger, owner of Prairie Point Junction, a quilt shop in Cozad, and organizer of the event along with the Cozad Chamber’s Tourism committee said this year’s Quilts Around the Block was very successful.
"We had visitors sign our guest book from Eustis, Elm Creek, Axtell, Lexington, Cozad, Waverly, Doniphan, Johnson Lake, Gothenburg, Crete, North Platte, Farnam, Arapahoe, Brady, Omaha, Kearney, Overton, Sutherland, Holdrege, Callaway, Odessa, Central City, Maywood, Pleasanton, Bertrand and even Killian,Texas; Fort Morgan, Colo.; and Los Angeles, Calif.," she said.
Geiger said the event appealed to a wide variety of people who were interested in barns, barn quilts and cloth quilts. The combination of so many types of media including cloth quilts, barn quilts, art, and photography really drew a wide demographic of visitors to enjoy the events in Cozad.
She said guests enjoyed learning more about the barn quilt movement from Suzi Parron.
"It was fascinating to discover how the barn quilt movement started and very quickly expanded across the U.S. Suzi commented that she is drawn to the idea that while each community creates its own take on barn quilts, it’s comforting to know that each individual trail, while unique, is part of something much larger," Geiger said.
Laurie Yocom, director at Wilson Public Library, worked hard to include the community in the event, Geiger said. The library sponsored several Crafternoons to encourage community members to paint the 100 12-inch by 12-inch barn quilt blocks that were on display at the library. This was a significant draw for visitors to enjoy, Geiger said.
The library also sponsored the "Pieced Together" documentary shown Friday evening, she said.
Geiger said the showing of the film was an exclusive opportunity to view the documentary. The movie showcased the story of Donna Sue Groves, who founded the barn quilt movement, Geiger said.
"It was very emotional to hear Donna Sue’s story of struggles with her health and unemployment and how the barn quilt movement has given her a sense of purpose and belonging, while bringing joy across the country," Geiger said.
The ability of Quilts Around the Block to draw the businesses in the Cozad community together to showcase Cozad in such a positive light was a huge plus, Geiger said.
"As I visited with business owners today, it was very encouraging to hear how many guests learned more about what Cozad has to offer," Geiger said on Monday.