Quilts in the Country show supports women’s education

Some of the many quilts that were on display last year during the annual “Quilts in the Country” show hosted by the Meeker P.E.O. Chapter. This year’s show will be held Sept. 8 from noon to 5:30 p.m and Sept. 9 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Fairfield Center in Meeker. courtesy photo

MEEKER | It begins with an idea. Colors maybe, or textures initiating a plan that can only be materialized through fabrics and thread. A story that eventually comes to life, piece by piece, pattern by pattern; woven with the history of an art that is nearly 250 years old in America. It is this sense of history that comes alive each year at the Meeker Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.) chapter’s annual “Quilts in the Country” quilt show. The show is held annually during the Meeker Classic Sheepdog Championship Trials and showcases a wide range of quilts, old and new, lovingly created by women all across Northwest Colorado. Now in its sixth year, the show is proud to feature a visual treasure trove of colors, texture and design styles with the opportunity for attendants to touch and learn about the creations.
There are the threads of history woven through the show as well. Walking in the midst of such large, colorful quilts pieced together tediously by hand, one cannot help but think of the vast tradition ingrained in the art form of quilting. One such piece steeped in rural Colorado history is Meeker’s “Pioneer” quilt which is one of the exceptions, and is displayed each year. The quilt features hand-embroidered blocks from many of Meeker’s pioneering ladies. The quilt’s owner, Lucy Jane Howey, can remember as a child when her grandmother Mary Allsebrook Smith would host teas at her house, inviting many of the town’s pioneer ladies. At one such tea, her grandmother handed out white blocks of fabric, requesting that the ladies embroider their name as well as the date they came to Meeker on the block. Later, Lucy remembers her grandmother and mother, Wilma Smith, working diligently to assemble the blocks, hand quilting them together into a beautiful piece of history. The quilt was finished in 1936, when Lucy was just 10 years old, and it continues to live on as a piece of history, with 84 ladies “piecing” it together over 80 years ago. “Quilts in the Country” is excited that it will have the opportunity to display this historic piece again at this year’s upcoming show.
P.E.O. Chapter BA comes together each year to create a beautiful “Opportunity” quilt which is featured at the show as well. Tickets for a chance to win the one-of-a-kind Opportunity quilt can be purchased during the show. Winner will be chosen at the conclusion of the show on Saturday afternoon and need not be present to win.
The show also features a country bake sale featuring handmade baked goods, jams, jellies, breads, cakes and pies. Handmade quilted items are also available for purchase as well as fresh-from-the-garden, locally grown flower bouquets. P.E.O. Chapter BA thanks you in advance for your support of our “Quilts in the Country” show. The fundraiser enables us to continue to assist women in their educational endeavors in our community, our state and our world. It has also allowed us to create a scholarship in Meeker, which is open to high school senior women looking to pursue their secondary education at a vocational or trade school. We believe that assisting women in all stages of their educational journeys is important, and we thank you for supporting us in our mission.
Thank you so much for your consideration of our upcoming event. I have included some photos of quilted items that were displayed in our show last year. If you have a special quilt, we encourage you to enter it to be displayed. Please contact Stephanie Oldland at 970-878-4711 or by email at stephold@wreawildblue.org for more information on entering quilted items. Please do not hesitate to contact her directly with any questions, or if she can provide any further information.
This year’s show will be held Sept. 8 from 12-5:30 p.m. and Sept. 9 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Fairfield Center in Meeker. Admission is $3 per person.