WMU News

WMU centennial celebrated in fabric by area quilters

Sept. 23, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- A Sept. 28-30 exhibition by Kalamazoo-area quilters salutes Western Michigan University's centennial with a series of quilts designed to put a needlework interpretation on such University symbols as brown-eyed Susans, the Stewart Clock Tower and the Western Trolley.

The exhibit by the Kalamazoo Log Cabin Quilters features 18 quilted pieces, all the product of a challenge issued by the organization earlier this year urging its members to tap their creativity and use their art form to depict some facet of WMU in fabric. The quilts can be viewed from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28, through Tuesday, Sept. 30, in Room 157 of the Bernhard Center.

The Kalamazoo Log Cabin Quilters has about 240 members, many of them WMU alumni, students, parents, staff members and retired faculty and staff. In a January newsletter, Joann Helsley, the group's challenge quilt chairperson, urged members to find ways to "represent the campus, the programs, the memories, sports, history and people" in a quilted work not to exceed 200 square inches.

The results of the challenge run the gamut from a quilted depiction of the Western Campus Trolley traveling up Prospect Hill to a fabric celebration of the University's international ties in Asia. The exhibit also includes a work that uses a "Where's Waldo?" theme and another that borrows a traditional patchwork pattern for a brown and gold rendition called
"Registration Blues--and Browns and Golds."

The WMU challenges quilts were first exhibited publicly at the Log Cabin Quilters' biennial show, which was held earlier this month at Kalamazoo's Radisson Hotel.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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