Quilting & Conversation Series 2023

Written by: Griffin Nordstrom

August 19, 2023 8:04 pm
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Griffin Nordstrom here in the final days of my Americorps term with the Beverly Heritage Center. In June and July I was very pleased to be able to collaborate with local artists and businesses in Randolph County to share stories and advice about working with fibers arts and its local history during our Quilting and Conversation series. Over the course of a few weeks, we held eight Facebook Live sessions with guests of various backgrounds and experience with fiber arts (for two, it was actually their first time quilting!) All of these videos have been saved on the Beverly Heritage Center’s page for future viewing. I’ve provided links and short descriptions for each of the episodes at the end of this post.

Over the course of the series, myself and each of my guests quilted on a pre-prepped lap quilt in the improv or ‘crazy’ style piecing (for more explanations of that listen to episodes 1 or 6). Guests were given free reign on thread and technique choices, which led to several different styles being used throughout the quilt and signature touches. You can find pink beetles and a bold golden sun embroidered into it as well as abstract spiral and patterned stitches that explore the various patterned fabrics that make up the quilt top’s surface. The fabrics were sourced similarly to many heritage-style textile productions, making use of semi-recycled fabrics like fabric excess or reused neckties. Overall the quilt has a red-black-gray colorscheme, but with touches of color across the rainbow.

Beyond its visual complexity, the quilt has endured a bit of an adventure in the middle of the Facebook series when I took it with me on a family road trip to work on. This lap quilt traveled South to Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky and all the way West to St. Louis, Missouri.

The quilt has been thoroughly stitched and a hanging sleeve added to its back, making it fit both for functional use, and as a wall display piece. We are selling the quilt as a fundraiser for the restoration of the 1900 Beverly Bank Building finials. It is priced at $350 and available at Mycelium (214 Davis Ave., Elkins, WV 26241).

I want to end this with a final thank you to all the guests we had on the program who were willing to take the time to quilt and chat with me, and special thanks to Emily Prentice for her helping in hosting and providing resources and connections that made this project possible. If anyone reading this is considering trying out sewing, weaving, needlepoint, etc. I HIGHLY encourage they give it a shot; the fiber arts community is a very supportive group and welcoming to all new members.

1. Emily Prentice & an intro to the Randolph County fiber arts community, makers & businesses


2. Jamie Billman & preservation of fiber art


3. Sarah Miller & online trends in fiber arts and making


4. Katie Driver & fiber art pieces and vintage hunting in the Tygart Valley area


5. Nevada Tribble & intermedia application of fiber arts and papermaking


6. Katherine Prentice & the Elkins Sewing Center and her lifetime of sewing garments & clothing


7. Sarah Miller & her exhibit at the Appalachian Forest Discovery Center


8. Emily Prentice & final thoughts and mentions of the series