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Talent mixes with awe at annual quilt show

HOULTON, Maine –Inside the Houlton Higher Education Center on Saturday, Janice Horton of Bangor stood in front of a multi-colored quilt and marveled at the talent.

“I can’t imagine how long it took to make that,” she said. “I can’t even sew a straight line.”

Both talent and awe were on full display on Friday and Saturday at the Friends and Needles Quilt Guild’s annual show, which celebrated the group’s 35th year in existence.

The show featured quilts from residents across southern Aroostook, as well as quilt vendors, raffle items and a silent auction.

Christine Corey, co-president of the guild, said on Saturday that attendance at the show, which began on Friday, had been brisk.

“We are seeing a pretty good turnout,” she noted.

Throughout the education center, quilts hung from racks, were draped over chairs, or lay on tables. Wall hangings advertised holidays of all seasons and the raffle quilt was done in dark and light brown creme brulee colors. The majority of the quilts were made by females, but several quilts were made by young men.

Horton said that she tries to attend the quilt show each year when she comes home to visit her family for Potato Feast Days. The annual celebration takes place in Houlton at the end of every August.

“Every year I come here and just stare at the quilts and tell myself that I am going to learn to sew and make one,” she said. “I have always wanted to learn, but it is so intimidating.”

Kathy Mitchell of Houlton attended the show with her daughter. She said that she has several friends who entered quilts in the show and she wanted to support them.

“I love all of the quilts, but my favorites are the ones that have patterns or characters on the fabric,” she said. “I love quilts or wall hangings that you can put out for Halloween or Christmas.”

She pointed to a Halloween quilt made by 14-year-old Zachary Kervin with the help of his grandmother, Jean Kervin.

“I really love that,” she said. “It is colorful and creative and I love that a young man made it.”

Kervin also made a pinwheel quilt that was displayed in the show.

Jean Kervin also created a Harry Potter-themed quilt, which was quilted by Lorrie Little. 

Mitchell said that she “loves to quilt” and acknowledged the hard work that goes into products displayed and the show.

“It takes a lot of talent to do that kind of work,” she said on Saturday.

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