Not Your Grandma’s Quilt: Library exhibit displays local guild’s cutting-edge art quilts
Carson Gerber 5 hrs ago
Quilts on display at the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library on Aug. 16, 2018. “Hoot” by Ann Abel and other pieces. Tim Bath | Kokomo Tribune Tim Bath
Lana Kirtley said when most people think of quilting, they picture a gray-haired grandma or great aunt sitting quietly in a rocking chair, stitching together patches of fabric to make a blanket or bed throw.
But a new exhibit at the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library blows that stereotype to smithereens.
The display is called “Not Your Grandmother’s Quilts,” and the title couldn’t be more accurate. +3
Quilts on display at the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library on Aug. 16, 2018. “Wild Selvages” by Sharon Morkel. Tim Bath | Kokomo Tribune Tim Bath
Head downstairs at the library’s main downtown branch, and visitors are greeted by what, at first glance, appear to be paintings depicting things like flowers, owls, crows, zebras or abstract designs. But get close, and you can see the images aren’t painted. They’ve all all been meticulously stitched together from different kinds of fabrics.
And the people who did that stitching are all members of the Kokomo Piecemakers Quilt Guild.
Kirtley, a 68-year-old retired art teacher from Tri-Central Elementary and a founding member of the group, said the guild was created 25 years ago by quilting enthusiasts from around the area. Their first meeting included about 25 people and was held in the basement of a Pizza Hut.
Fast forward to today, and the guild’s monthly meetings attract around 160 quilters from all over north central Indiana.
Kirtley said when the group was founded, quilting was undergoing a kind of rebirth across the country, morphing from an dated pastime into a popular crafting hobby. +3
Quilts on display at the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library on Aug. 16, 2018. “Hollyhocks at Grandma’s Bogg’s Backdoor” by Ann Abel Tim Bath | Kokomo Tribune Tim Bath
“When we started, there was a small movement to bring back quilting,” she said. “It’s just taken off since then. … The old handwork stuff is coming back.”
Today, what passes as a quilt is a far cry from the traditional patchwork bed cover. Kirtley said as long as the item has a front, middle and back stitched together using some kind of cloth or fabric, it qualifies as a quilt.
That definition has led to some very creative interpretations on the medium called art quilts, and those are what are on display at the downtown library.
One quilt created by Kirtley depicts what appears up close as an abstract collage of black-and-white stripes, but from a distance looks like the face of a zebra. The one splash of green on the piece is the animal’s eye.
Another quilt she created looks like a Native American dream catcher, but because it includes parts that are stitched together, qualifies as a quilt.
One piece beautifully depicts a black crow standing in a snowy wood, eating an ear of corn. Another looks like a stitched-together homage to Vincent Van Gough’s famous painting, “Starry Night.” +3
Quilts on display at the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library on Aug. 16, 2018. “Owl Family” by Lana Kirtley. Tim Bath | Kokomo Tribune Tim Bath
Kirtley said although the Kokomo Piecemakers encourage and support all kinds of quilting, the group has enthusiastically embraced its newer, modern forms. Some of the guild members have even submitted their art pieces to both national and international quilting competitions.
And having an exhibit at the library to show off those modern pieces is a great way to get the word out that quilting isn’t what it used to be, she said.
“It’s neat to let people know there’s more to quilting than what they might remember,” Kirtley said. “Everyone remembers grandma’s quilt, but there’s more to it these days. There’s just so many different ways to go. There are styles for any kind of quilter.”
The exhibit will remain at the library until the end of the month, but people can see more than 300 of the group’s quilts during an exhibition Oct. 5-6 at the Kokomo Event and Conference Center called “Quilts Along the Wildcat.”
Carson Gerber can be reached at 765-854-6739, or on Twitter @carsongerber1. React to this story:
Muncie father and son duo fly, build model airplanes together
Muncie father and son duo fly, build model airplanes together Mary Freda, For The Star Press Published 9:55 Facebook A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. Buy Photo Greyson Pritchett and his dad Bill Pritchett stand next to one of their remote controlled planes at a flying site inside the Academy of Model Aeronautics grounds. Corey Ohlenkamp/Star Press Model airplanes take to the air at the Academy of Model Aeronautics grounds. Corey Ohlenkamp/Star Press Model airplanes take to the air at the Academy of Model Aeronautics grounds. Corey Ohlenkamp/Star Press Model airplanes take to the air at the Academy of Model Aeronautics grounds. Corey Ohlenkamp/Star Press Model airplanes take to the air at the Academy of Model Aeronautics grounds. Corey Ohlenkamp/Star Press Model airplanes take to the air at the Academy of Model Aeronautics grounds. Corey Ohlenkamp/Star Press Model airplanes take to the air at the Academy of Model Aeronautics grounds. Corey Ohlenkamp/Star Press Interested in this topic? You may also want to view these photo galleries: Replay Model airplanes take to the air at the Academy of Model Aeronautics grounds. (Photo: Corey Ohlenkamp/Star Press) Buy Photo MUNCIE, Ind. — For a 14-year-old, Greyson Pritchett is reserved, modest and humble. When you ask about his success as a model airplane pilot, he shrugs it off, half-noting he’s never placed anywhere but in the top 10 of competitions. Though he totes a first-place national title and a place on a world team, winning isn’t the most important aspect, he said. A lot of practice and preparation go into each contest. Before competing in his fifth National Aeromodelling Championships pattern aerobatics competition, he flew 12 practice runs. Typically, he does four practice flights a day. This year, Greyson’s competition was held the week of July 15 at the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) in Muncie. In June 1992, AMA officially opened on Memorial Drive, just east of the bypass. Though the site originally was supposed to be built in Eaton, pushback from residents in the area, lack of existing utilities and ultimately, the cost, pushed the facility to relocate. Three years later, the National Museum of Model Airplanes opened next door, making the site a destination for global competitors. Now, the site hosts its annual National Aeromodelling Championships during the summer months, when flyers can compete in 12 different events. *** Buy Photo
Greyson Pritchett and his dad Bill Pritchett stand next to one of their remote controlled planes at a flying site inside the Academy of Model Aeronautics grounds. (Photo: Corey Ohlenkamp/Star Press) When he was around 4 or 5 years old, Greyson would sit on the ground, placing his thumbs over his dad’s, figuring out how to operate the lightweight planes. (Each weighs around 40 grams, which is less than a tenth of a pound.) “A lot of it’s making a light enough plane because it’s easy to make them heavy. It’s hard to make them light,” said Greyson, a freshman at Central High School. “A lot of it’s getting the right airplane, building it the right way and making it structurally strong and then flying it well and doing well in the competitions, that’s a big part of it.” Pilots control the planes with a remote while it hovers no higher than 400 feet above them in the air. Each flight averages seven, to seven-and-a-half minutes — a mere 420 seconds. But, it feels longer than that, said Greyson, who often clocks four practice flights a day. “So, I got a new airplane this year. The radio says it has 28 hours on the airplane in flight,” Greyson said. (For those wondering, that’s 240 flights.) Though he first learned how to fly on an indoor simulator at home, Greyson has expanded to include indoor and outdoor aerobatic precision competitions. There, flyers are challenged by completing certain maneuvers in front of a panel of judges to create geometry in the sky, said Bill Pritchett, Greyson’s father. Greyson, who wants to be a pilot, got his first precision aerobatic plane four years ago: “It was the right thing to do,” said Bill. In 2015, he won nationals in the advanced class. In 2016 and 2017, he placed third and second, respectively. (But Greyson wouldn’t tell you that, only Bill would.) “I provide what he needs to be successful, but that’s not nearly enough,” said Bill, who is the education director at AMA. “He’s got to have the right head and the right approach and the work ethic because to do what’s going on here today, you have to be extremely well practiced.” Off the field, the pair spend time in their “man cave,” a model airplane workshop in the Pritchetts’ basement, where they build and repair the tiny aircrafts. Mark Atwood, a longtime family friend and fellow model airplane competitor, said Greyson is something of a “perfect storm” because he has the hand-eye coordination and a tremendous passion for flying. “He’s got a dad who’s a very competent modeler and is able to provide him with all the good tools and foundation for it,” said Atwood, who has helped coach Greyson over the years. *** When Bill was in middle school, he learned how to fly control line airplanes with his late father, Fred Pritchett. Soon after, he took to radio control planes and stuck with model airplanes ever since, passing the hobby down to his eight children. Greyson, his youngest, was the only one to stick with the pastime. For nearly a decade, the father-son duo has flown model airplanes together, traveling across the U.S. to compete. “This one right here just wouldn’t walk away from it. He jumped on it when he was … crazy young,” Bill said. “If I wanted to go flying, he wouldn’t let me go without him.” Bill is proud of his son’s skills — even if it means Greyson is better than he is. “I fly advanced. The year he won the nationals in advanced, I took that year off because I knew that I was going to get dusted by my kid,” Bill said. “Everybody makes a good joke out of that, but it’s true, and I’m OK with that. Since that time, he’s become way, way more accomplished than I ever hoped to be, and it’s a thrill for me to see it happen.” In March, Greyson will fly to Heraklion in Crete, Greece, to compete in the 2019 F3P Championship — an indoor, aerobatic event for radio-controlled model airplanes. //tspne.ws/2nTE24b