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29th Annual Quilt Show & Sale at Stephen Foster garners more participants this year

Stephen Foster Events Assistant Samantha Register coordinated this year’s event. She explains the quilt “Sailing the World on the Waves” in the above photo. It represents different cultures and time periods from around the world. Made by Betty Jeffries from Yulee. The quilt won first place for its category and Best in Show.  -All Photos on this page by Tami Stevenson

By Tami Stevenson

Cleverly designed, intricate and colorful, the art of quilt-making is still very much alive today. This creative technique is still being passed down from generation to generation as the 29th Annual Quilt Show and Sale at Stephen Foster last weekend reflected two and three generations with quilt exhibits. Some of the children that participated were as young as eight years old.

Visitors that have been known to come from as far away as Maryland and North Carolina just to be able to attend the quilt show were able to admire the complex designs and had the opportunity to purchase some of the many quilts on display inside the auditorium and in the museum. For those that appreciate the art, many say once you’re hooked, you’re hooked for life.

Andrea Thomas, Stephen Foster Park Services Specialist, said the turnout was great. Along with their regular Lake City Quilt Guild, they had three more quilting guilds that came in from Jacksonville so they are excited for next year, which will be their 30th Anniversary.

Unlike many of the machine quilts of today, the Special Exhibit at the park featured Fort White’s own Ann Opgenorth whose quilts are all hand-sewn. In addition to her beautiful and elaborate quilt-making, she is an accomplished canvas artist as well as 3D sculpture using welded steel and other mediums. Admiring her intricate work it is easy to imagine how she stays busy with commissions throughout the year.

This hand-sewn quilt on display by Ann Opgenorth was commissioned for the White Springs Nature and Heritage Tourism Center. -Photo by Tami Stevenson

Wild Turkey - welded steel sculputre by Ann Opgenorth.

(Hand-sewn) Long Horns by Ann Opgenorth of White Springs and Viewer’s Choice Winner.

Opgenorth is also part of the Lake City Art Guild and her work can often be seen at the Live Oak Library. Her website is called Her latest one-of-a-kind quilt is called “Longhorns.” Most of the quilts on display, including Opgenorth’s, are machine washable and dryer safe as well. You can tell by the care she takes in everything she does that she really enjoys her work. Thomas said, “Ms. Ann makes about one quilt a year for herself, but has commissions for all her art mediums she does all year long.”

The Florida Quilt Trail, established in Trenton in 2013, is alive and well in White Springs as well. Travelers will see the hand painted quilt squares on businesses, barns and even homes. The Community Coordinator in White Springs is Merri McKenzie. The Trenton Quilt Trail is coordinated by Stephanie Metts. Trenton’s Suwannee Valley Quilt Festival is scheduled for March 17, 2018. Anyone wishing to participate or attend can find more information at Maps of the White Springs Quilt Trail are available at Stephen Foster.

Samantha Register, Stephen Foster Events Assistant, coordinated the quilt show and said she enjoys the art herself. Sunnie Malesky of Jacksonville was the judge this year. Malesky teaches quilting as well.

Joining a quilting guild could be a fun way to meet new people joined by a common thread – sharing the same passion for fabric, color and tradition. According to the Florida Quilt Guide, some quilting guilds in the area are: Lady of the Lake Quilters’ Guild in Lake City, Ft. White Quilt Sisters, Forest Capital Quilting Guild in Perry, Springhouse Quilter’s Guild in Trenton and Tree City Quilters’ Guild in Gainesville.

Joan Allott, left, is with the Lake City Quilt Guild and won two ribbons this year for her quilts. Right, Lila Rissman is with the new textile group Fiber Muse. -Photo by Tami Stevenson

L-R: Betty Rowe, Rita Hetrick and Pearl Hadden. Kimekome demonstrations. -Photo by Tami Stevenson

Faces - a fun display of self portraits from ladies from the Lake City Quilt Guild.

Blue Hawaii by Stephanie Metts of Trenton.

Sailor’s Prayer by Rece Poole of Lake City (age 10).

According to Park Services Specialist Andrea Thomas, the viewer’s choice ribbon went to Ms. Ann Opgenorth for her Long Horns quilt. It was a very close one though, the Best of Show by Mrs. Betty Jeffreys was only two votes behind.
The winners from each category are:
Category #100: Large predominately pieced quilts
Windmills by Stephanie Sikora of O’Brien, FL
Hunters Star by Melba Reynolds of Lake City, FL
Bouillabaisse by Norma Birman of Trenton, FL
Category #200: Large Predominately Appliqued Quilts
Sailing the World on the Waves by Betty Jeffreys of Yulee (also the Best of Show Winner)
Long Horns by Ann Opgenorth of White Springs, FL (Viewer’s Choice Winner)
Moonlight Sonata by Lucy Goddard-Teel of Alachua
Category #300: Large Mixed Technique
Butterfly Bounty by Nancy Palmer of Lake City
Oh So Proudly We Hail by Betty Jeffreys of Yulee
Butterflies and All God’s Creations by Jill Craig of Lake City
Category #400: Medium predominately pieced quilts
Sunflowers in the Sunshine by Stephanie Metts of Trenton, FL
Project of Doom (Paper Pieced) by Sherry Ratliff of Lake City, FL
Three Sisters by Judy Giddens of Lake City, FL
Category #500: Medium Predominately Appliqued Quilts
Flowers by Joan Allott of Lake City, FL
No second place but (2) Two 3rd place winners:
Mamacita’s Garden by Betty Jeffreys of Yulee
Remembering Panama by Sherry Ratliff of Lake City, FL
Category #600: Medium Mixed Technique
Blue Hawaii by Stephanie Metts of Trenton, FL
Grandmother’s Potted Treasures by Patsy Troxell of Yulee, FL
Quilt Barns by LuAnne S. Taylor of Zephyrhills, FL
Category #700: Small predominately pieced quilts
Sew Scary by Agnes Czarnecki of Lake City, FL
The Garden by Cornelia Graves of Yulee, FL
Bright  Lights by Marie Chaple of Lake City, FL
Category #800: Small Predominately Appliqued Quilts
Key West by Joan Allott of Lake City, FL
A World of Santas by Betty Jeffreys of Yulee, FL
Category #900: Small Mixed Technique
Duran’s Sigma by Patsy Troxell of Yulee, FL
The Reef by Stephanie Metts of Trenton, FL
Batty Halloween by LuAnne S. Taylor of Zephyrhills, FL
Category 1100: Art or Original
Gator Life by Lucy Goddard-Teel of Alachua
Victoria Elizabeth- Indian Princess by Stephanie Metts of Trenton, FL
No Place Like Home by Sandy Lindfors of Live oak, FL
Category 1200: Anything Goes!
Ties that Warm Me by Betty Jeffreys of Yulee, FL
My Quilting Purse by Marina Thomason of Yulee, FL
Reversible Table Runner by Anne Graves of Lake City, FL
Category 1300: Children’s Quilts
Sailor’s Prayer by Rece Poole of Lake City, FL (age 10)
My First Quilt by Lauren Conn of Tallahassee (age 8)
D’s Masterpiece by Dancy Kendron of Lake City, FL
Rainbow Land by Adelynn Kendron of Lake City, FL
Paris in Pink by Selby Schneitman of Live oak, FL