A group of quilters from Silver Thread Quilt Guild in Fort Walton Beach, Fl and from Flying Needles in Niceville, FL visited the Wiregrass Museum of Art in Dothan, Al on March 24, 2012. The purpose of the visit was to view a selection of World War II Era quilts form the private collection of Sue Reich. You can learn more about Sue at www.suereichquilts.com. We were met by Sherry Burkhalter who owns a quilt shop in Headland, Al and is a friend of Sue's. Sherry talked to us about the significance of each quilt and the reasons why quilts were made during that time, not unlike the quilts that are being made now through Quilts of Valor and other groups.
The quilts weren't particularly beautiful or finely crafted but the significance of each one was apparent. One quilt from a small town in Texas, featured a quilt block for each soldier or sailor from that town, his unit and whether he was deceased or a POW. My father was a POW in Japan for 42 months so that alone was significant for me. Another quilt was composed of 70 plus military patches and insignia of rank from the US Navy. A seamstress had collected each patch after sewing the new rank onto a sailors uniform and then sewed and quilted them onto fabric to create a quilt! What dedication to her clients!
Afterward we motored to Headland where we were treated to a beautiful lunch and a visit to Sherry Burkhalter's lovely quilt shop, Quilted Creations. Sherry had a connection to our group as she had grown up in Fort Walton Beach and the cutting table in her shop had come from the old TG &Y store on Racetrack Road before it was torn down. She had a beautiful collection of fabrics that were artfully displayed among antique sewing machines and supplies.
We finished our day at The Front Porch Quilt Shoppe in Ozark. Melanie, the owner greeted us with refreshments and we were amazed at the selection of bright and beautiful fabrics that she had. When the ladies arrived home, laden with packages, they all agreed it was a wonderful day.
Learn more about Sherry's shop at www.quiltedcreations.com and Melanie's shop at www.thefrontporchquiltshop.com. Until next time, please quilt your heart out!