As I mentioned yesterday, I was at the local Harvest Festival helping over the weekend. Last year I shared about the pretzel making I do there. Since I have started this series on quilting I thought I'd share about that part of the festival today. The Harvest Festival is the big fundraiser of the year. Visitors have the opportunity to learn about Pennsylvania German farm life in the 1800s and all that was involved in keeping a farm and household running. There's also plenty of traditional food to taste, a one room schoolhouse program, and a small encampment of Civil War reenactors. One of the things done to both demonstrate and raise some funds is a quilt raffle.
Each year at Harvest Festival a quilt which was completed during the year is displayed and raffled off. In front of the one being raffled the quilters sit and work on the quilt for the following year. Since I was on my own lunch break when I had a chance to come visit the quilters it was also lunch break for several of them. Normally there are several women working together on the quilt, not only during festival but through out the year as they cut and piece the patches as well as finish the quilting.
When I asked the quilters if I could sneak around behind them to get some pictures they told me to be sure to get a close up of the stitching. They were proud to show off their handiwork. It was a bit of a challenge to get the picture since the wind was blowing the quilt as it hung on the line but I hope it gives a feel for the lovely hand quilting.
Each year the quilting group chooses a traditional design to share with the public and each year visitors wait with great anticipation to see the finished product. It's a wonderful way the group gets to share so much time together making a beautiful quilt which can be used to raise money for the farm and be enjoyed by whoever wins it in the raffle.
Here is just one of the many hands that helped make the quilts. Beautiful isn't it?