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Sewing enthusiasts fill Butler Park

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More than 105 attend annual expo to learn techniques

By Sharon Graves

The News-Democrat

Quilters, teachers, county agents and hostesses filled every empty room at General Butler State Park April 14 and 15, last Tuesday and Wednesday as they learned new quilting techniques.

Teachers from Kentucky, Indiana, Nebraska and Texas came together to teach students from the surrounding area many different ways to piece and quilt comforters, clothing, bags, table runners and other items.

Rooms in the conference center, the lodge and several cabins had full and partial day classes teaching students beautiful things to make with fabric and easier and quicker ways to accomplish their goals.

The 105 women present each brought their own sewing machine and just about every type of sewing gadget on the market to use in the classes.  They worked intently as they shared ideas on how to complete their projects.

Each room had large tables with one or two women with their machines and all their gear.  Every sewing machine on the market must have been represented. There were the expensive ones and inexpensive models, and everywhere there were irons of every size, and beautiful fabrics in various stages in the quilt process.

Kay Kennedy, a county agent from Springfield, had a beautiful World War II vintage lightweight sewing machine that she said she takes to classes everywhere. It had beautiful decorations on it, and it sewed as well as any of the other models present, she said.

Joyce Pinter of Hamilton, Ohio, was pressing seams on the fabric piece she was working on with a cute tiny iron.

Many women come every year, such as Liz Kingsland of Lexington, and right next to her was Shirley Fuqua-Jackson of Louisville, Ky., who was there for the first time. Fuqua-Jackson is a retired principal in the Jefferson County school system and came because she loves to quilt and when she received an email about the event she knew she had to go.

Julie Lambert was teaching a class on free hand machine quilting to a group of about 10 women in one of the dining rooms in the lodge.  She zoomed around on her Bernina machine freehanded making flowers and circles and teaching the class how to improve their skills.

Lambert gave many tips on doing free handed and stenciled designs sewing the whole time.  “For me this is just like breathing,” she said.  

Tuesday night participants had the opportunity to attend a tradeshow where vendors set up to sell fabrics, patterns, books, and tools.