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It's sew fun—OUMC Quilt Show



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April 23, 2014 - Ortonville- It was in the late '90s that Alice Gajewski's husband, Sylvester, saw a special sign outside of the Ortonville United Methodist Church.

The sign was for a quilt show. He drove home and brought his wife, new to the quilting hobby, back to the church.

"There was a whole basement filled with quilting women who were doing interesting things," recalled Alice. "I thought I was in heaven."

The 15th Country Church Quilt Show, which takes place every two years and features more than 200 quilts, is planned for 10 a.m.-6 p.m., May 2, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m., May 3, at the OUMC, 93 Church St., Ortonville.

The quilts, new and old, large and small, in a variety of colors and fabrics and themes, are displayed in the sanctuary of the church, hung on walls and draped across pews in stunning array.

"You see people from all over the country come," said Marilyn Featherston, who founded the show in 1986. "Five-hundred to 600 people come through— it's a good show. It brings the community together."

When Alice Gajewski found the quilt show, she also found the Country Quilt Guild, a group that meets from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. every Monday in the OUMC basement. The group has about 20 members and welcomes new quilters to join them, as well as those well-acquainted with the hobby.

Charleen Stanley, club president, has been quilting for about 25 years.

"This is my passion," she said. "I got into it to leave something for our children and grandchildren... My first quilt took six months to make."

She has since made about 40 quilts, including ones for each of her three children and six grandchildren, as well as ones for charity. She presented her daughter's to her at the quilt show, pointing to a quilt hanging on the wall and asking how she liked it.

"She said, 'Oh, that's nice,' and I told her, 'It's yours.' We were both crying. Hopefully, it is something she will keep forever."

Ruth Ann Sheffield, guild vice-president, will have two quilts in the show that she made that were also featured in Quilter's World magazine.

"I love the church and the stained glass windows and the quilts with all the colors— it's warm and inviting," she said. "Our hearts are in there. It's very exciting to see your quilt on the pew or to make it to the wall."

Brenda Heffernan, owner of Mabelena's Quilting Supplies and Comforts, decides how to display all the quilts at the church. A donation of $5 is suggested for entry to the quilt show. Lunch is also available from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. each day. A quilt vendor mall will take place at the same time as the show, but at the Old Town Hall at the corner of Mill and Church streets, just south of the church. Details: Terrie McCullough, 810-636-2102 or Brenda Heffernan, 248-627-9100.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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