UA-8412995-1 The Southport Globe: Opening today, Southport church blanketed by extraordinary quilts

Friday, March 2, 2012

Opening today, Southport church blanketed by extraordinary quilts

Who would have thought a decade ago that a tiny quilt show in Fairfield would develop into one of the region's most anticipated winter events -- raising about $250,000 in funds for local charities? Certainly not its founders, Cecily Zerega and Judy Reynolds.
Both will be honored at the 10th anniversary event -- "A Quilt Exhibit: Fabrics & Fabrications" -- at the Southport Congregational Church, which opens today (Friday, March 2) and continues Saturday.
Over the years, it has grown from a four-hour show to a three-day multi-event celebration of the quilting arts, featuring new and vintage quilts from throughout the country and an accompanying art exhibition. Featured will be bed-size quilts, wall hangings, miniatures, pillows and other quilted objects displayed in the church's sanctuary and chapel.
During the two-day show, lunch may be purchased from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and numerous workshops will be offered at an additional fee (a detailed listing of workshops is available on the group's website). A silent auction throughout the show will feature numerous unusual items, including a twin-size "Grandmother's Flower Garden" quilt by Gail de Marcken, illustrator of the children's book, "The Quiltmaker's Gift."
Reynolds said last week that she and Zerega came upon the idea for a "homespun" quilt show after attending one together in Cohasset, Mass., about 11 years ago. They "thoroughly enjoyed the simplicity, charm and spirit" of the exhibition," Reynolds said. The pair then approached their minister, the Rev. Paul Whitmore, and the church council with the idea of hosting a show.
They agreed, and the quilt show tradition began. Throughout the past decade, Reynolds said that the show has enjoyed major funding support from area benefactor Elizabeth M. Pfriem.
More than 130 quilts -- all new to the event -- will be featured at this year's event, which will benefit the Trumbull-based Make-A-Wish Foundation of Connecticut; Emerge Inc., a social service program in Stratford; and the Bridgeport-based Project Learn, Reynolds said.
For the public, as well as individual quilters, the allure of creating or owning a handcrafted item with "a story to tell" is compelling. READ MORE:

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