Talk Of The Town

quiltsTop: St. Francis parishioners Mary Schulte (left) and Cathy Barkman hold up one of their featured quilts for the upcoming St. Francis Church picnic raffle and quilt bingo. The pattern for the quilt is called “The Queen in her Court.” Bottom: St. Francis parishioners Lois Voss (left), Edna Rakers and Ruth Litteken show off their “Log Cabin” quilt. (Photos by Melissa Wilkinson)    Quilters of Clinton County, get excited! The Annual St. Francis of Assisi Quilt Show is this weekend, July 20 and 21, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days. Held at the St. Francis Parish Center at Second and Clinton streets in Aviston, this yearly show features a preview of the over 70 quilts to be awarded as prizes at the Aug. 3 St. Francis church picnic.
    While many of the quilts are donated, many more are sewn and assembled by parishioners and volunteers. Helpers come to St. Francis for one week a month, October through March, in order to dedicate time and effort to quilting for the show.
    “We have a big room where we can set up three full-size quilts,” said parishioner Cathy Barkman. “We can piece one together in a day. Then it takes about three days to quilt one, with six to eight people at the quilt.”
    According to parishioner Mary Schulte, one does not simply sit down and make a quilt. The process is lengthy and requires special materials such as patterns and quilt frames. While there are now machines that can ease the process, most of the quilts made by and donated to the show are hand-quilted. Schulte said the process is made easier by
splitting the jobs up between volunteers.
    “We have cutters. We have sewers. We have rippers, we have pressers and we have ladies who come in and make lunch for us,” said Schulte. “Some come for an hour; some come for a day. They do it because they like it.”
    Schulte said the group averages around 16 volunteers per session. One notable volunteer is Vera Netemeyer, 97, who has been hand-quilting at home for the parish for years. But, said Barkman, volunteers don’t have an age requirement. 
    “A lot of the younger ones are afraid to make them,” said Schulte. “I say, ‘here, sit down and try it.’ When you give them something easy to sew, suddenly they’re not afraid to try something else.”
    While some quilts will be offered as raffle prizes, most will be awarded to winners of Quilt Bingo, which will be held on Aug. 3 at 6:30 p.m. during the St. Francis Church picnic. 
    For those interested in offering their time to future quilting efforts, keep an eye on the marquis outside the St. Francis Parish Center, or on the church Facebook page, where quilting session times will be posted.

breeselegionThe Breese Legion picnic will feature a historical display this Saturday, including these scrapbooks and uniforms. (Photo by Melissa Wilkinson)    The veteran organization known as the American Legion was founded on March 15, 1919 in Paris, France. Later that same year, the city of Breese started its own branch. On July 20, 2019, Breese American Legion Timmermann-Benhoff Post 252 will celebrate its 100th anniversary with the restarting of an old tradition; the annual Legion picnic.
    According to Legion commander Jeff Jung, many members — including himself — were not aware of the picnics, which ended in the late 1960s.
    “When I became commander, I started cleaning and I came across a few pictures and some tickets saying they had a picnic. I didn’t know about it before that. That was about eight months ago,” said Jung. “I went to the executive board first; they looked at me like I had four heads. We decided to take it to the membership and the membership agreed.”
    Henry “Red” Hoerchler, Breese Legion manager from 1999-2017, recalled a time during his membership where the Legion was consistently active; so much so that the building was expanded in 1974.
    “We had a lot of benefits for different people. Those were always the biggest things we had,” said Hoerchler. “We had one benefit for a gentleman where we set up a tent across the whole alley. You could walk right out the hall and into a tent.”

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