Posted on

Quilters seek more history for bicentennial project

Quilters seek more history for bicentennial project
Quilters seek more history for bicentennial project
Rita Koerber, co-chair of the bicentennial quilt, outlines a trick-or-treater with green thread for the Halloween parade dedicated block, which will then be applied to the bicentennial quilt. Photo by Bobby Shipman

The bicentennial quilt celebrating Indiana’s 200th anniversary is progressing.
In the fall of 2012, Rita Koerber and Jean Schettler collaborated on an idea for a fundraiser. They would craft a hand-stitched, commemorative quilt that features pieces of Harrison County’s past, present and future in honor of Indiana’s bicentennial coming up in 2016.
Sponsors can ‘purchase’ blocks of various sizes that surround the picture. Proceeds go to The Artisan Center in Corydon, a non-for-profit that promotes artists, artistic programs and art education in Harrison County.
‘(Sponsors) furnish us with either a family name or pictures of their business or an event they would like on their block,’ Donna Thomas, owner of HollyHock Quilt Shop and co-chair of the bicentennial quilt, said. ‘We will take these pictures and we will draw them onto fabric, and then we create a block.’
Since its inception, a committee of nimble-fingered women meets on the second Monday of each month at HollyHock to construct the 117-inch by 117-inch quilt.
Thomas, Koerber, Shelley Bosler, Chris Hayden, Vicki Williams, Linda Wise, Barbara Witt, Elayne Scott and Ashley Armstrong have been toiling away on the blocks.
Corydon’s history as the state’s original capital plays as the central image of the quilt in paintings by Schettler, an Artisan Center. Featured in the center of the quilt will be the Constitution Elm, the Battle of Corydon Park, Cedar Glade, the old Presbyterian church, the Posey House and the First State Capitol building.
Upon completion in 2016, the Harrison County Historical Society will hang the quilt in the county museum.
‘What we’re really needing is to make sure the whole county is represented in this quilt,’ Koerber, the other quilt co-chair and former Artisan Center board member, said.
Although they retain the right to approve the artwork, Koerber said there is a lot of freedom with the design of the blocks.
Currently, Koerber is embroidering a 12-inch block dedicated to the county’s Halloween parade, one of the longest continuous in the nation, which depicts three trick-or-treaters.
Koerber said they plan to keep the quilt current by using new techniques, stitchings and a modern color palette.
‘Embroidery has an incredible resurgence going on that we probably haven’t seen in 100 years,’ she said. ‘(The quilt) is very much of the 2016 time period, so that, when somebody looks at it in 50 years, they’ll go, ‘Oh, look what they were doing back then’.’
Block donation prices for families and business range from $125 to $250, with three-by-six-inch memorial blocks available for $25.
The quilt is comprised of 116 blocks: 20 12-inch ones, 56 nine-inch and 40 memorial blocks.
Available space currently includes seven 12-inch blocks, 32 nine-inch blocks and 35 memorial ones.
To request a block, contact or visit HollyHock Quilt Shop, located at 1148 Highway 62 NW, Corydon (812-738-1312) or The Artisan Center, at 117 E. Chestnut St., Corydon (812-738-2123); the Center is open Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.