Seasons in stitch

Shady Ladies present 12th annual quilt show
May 21, 2014
Photo by: Donated photo From left to right Shady Ladies Christa Malone, Karin Eckert, Jane Bird, Sheryl Lentini, Carolyn Bauknight, Jane Cole, Wendy Bowen, Marilyn Sullivan, Juanita Shade, Jo Glover, Evelyn Case and Lisa Heller.

It’s not enough just to call the Shady Ladies a quilting group — what they do is far beyond making a quilt.

Many of the members’ creations that will be on display May 30 through June 1 during the 12th annual Shady Ladies Quilt Show are more like pieces of artwork. Each fabric has been chosen for a reason and each texture adds a beautiful layer of complexity.

At the beginning of each summer, these women put on a quilt show in Cruso with the goal of raising money for local charities. All of the proceeds from the $5 admission charge go to the Lake Logan’s Summer Camp Program for children.

In addition to that, the Shady Ladies combine their talents to create a quilt to raffle off each year at the show and that money goes to local charities.

Jane Cole and Wendy Bowen, leaders of the Shady Ladies, said they had difficulty piecing together the quilt squares made by the members of the quilting group this year. Transforming these blocks into a harmonious and attractive quilt was more of a challenge than usual for Jane and Wendy this year.

“These squares did not want to play with their neighbors,” Cole said.

“We cut them apart, rearranged them, inserted strips, tipped them on point, and voila!” Bowen said.

Tickets for a chance to win the 78-inch square quilt named ‘Roundabout’ are available now from any member of the Shady Ladies. The winning ticket will be drawn at the end of the Shady Ladies’ annual quilt show. In the past, the raffle quilt has raised up to $1,500 that has supported the Share the Warmth campaign, local food pantries and more.

The Shady Ladies also like to test themselves each year by creating a theme or specific “challenge” for their members. This year’s challenge is “Seasons come and go,” and each member created a vertical quilt hanging representing a season.

“We pick a challenge to spark creativity and challenge our ladies,” said Bowen.

The season pieces also will be on display at the annual quilt show. The amount of variety in the quilt designs is astounding. While some of the 50 members are quite traditional in their work, others are very experimental and innovative.

Marilyn Sullivan has been with the group since it first formed. She learned how to quilt when she moved to Haywood County 20 years ago and decided to take a quilting class at Haywood Community College.

When asked why she enjoyed quilting, Sullivan said, “It’s the creative process — coming up with an idea and making it into a quilt. Inspiration can come from anywhere.”

As member Linda McHugh was ironing a quilt and putting on some final touches to an intricate piece that included a sea turtle with the world on its back, it was obviously how excited she was to finally complete it.

“I’ve been working on this one since January. You know you think of them as your children and I’ll be so glad when this one is finally leaving home,” she joked.

The Shady Ladies meet every Tuesday to work on their quilts and many of them have three quilts in the show, including their smaller challenge piece.

“It gets to where you can identify people’s style because they are so different,” said member Lisa Heller as she looked at the many quilts stacked on the table. “It’s great to be part of group that pushes you to expand the bounds of your creativity.” She has been quilting with the group for three years since moving here from Florida and attending one of their quilt shows.

Member Jo Glover has been quilting alongside her mother since 1988. Her mother is now 90 years old and still quilts today. Glover does a technique called big stich and teaches her craft at quilters’ corners and at the John C. Campbell Folk School.

The quilt show featuring 100 new quilts will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, May 30 and Saturday, May 31 and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 1 at the Lake Logan Episcopal Center, Lake Logan Rd, Canton. Lunch will be available from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. all three days.

The quilts range from artistic wall hangings to traditional bed quilts. A boutique stocked with small quilts and quilt-related items, is another highlight of the show.

For directions to Lake Logan visit; for more information about the Shady Ladies and the exhibit, contact Jane Cole, 828-456-8885.