Several of them – Ashe County Piecemakers Quilt Guild, Ashe County Historical Society and the Ashe County Humane Society -- were on display over the weekend.
The Piecemakers Quilt Guild undoubtedly will put many in mind of their grandmothers sitting by the fire late into the night pulling stitch after stitch through old pieces of flour sacks and denim, putting them together into a boring and practical bed covering.
What was on display Saturday at Jefferson Station is art, art inspired by history, and art inspired by the creativity born of the lives of the people who made them. They were done with fine craftsmanship that will produce works to survive generations.
The display of 100 quilted items tells of history. The oldest on display is believed to have been made a little over a 100 years ago.
There are the typical geometric shapes and bright colors, interlocking rings and flower images.
The guild also offered a challenge to create a quilted art work using the theme “I hear a song in my quilt.” The images in cloth put a visual to every style of music from Broadway show tunes to Elvis.
The guild seeks to promote the art and craftsmanship of a languishing form of expression. It also seeks to reach out to people in need. In nine years of existence, members of the guild have handmade and donated quilts to victims of house fires, domestic violence and old-age loneliness.
They are small gifts that help soothe injured hearts. Piecemakers become peacemakers.
Part of the driving interest behind the quilters is the history that the art evokes. The Ashe County Historical Society held its annual fair at least in part for a similar reason -- to educate and make lives better through a study of history. You don’t know where you’re going unless you know where you’ve been, some say.
Most native Ashe countians have a strong sense of place and a tie to their community. We can touch the history of the people who lived on this land by considering the relics of those times.
We can contemplate the difficulty of tilling a field with a steel plow pulled by a mule and learn a lesson in tenacity and endurance.
We can look at the simple, handcrafted house wares and consider our materialism. We can find ways to improve our days by understanding days past. The fair offered those opportunities and a benefit.
Also on Saturday, the Ashe County Humane Society got together to celebrate the first annual ‘Bark in the Park’ at West Jefferson Town Park.
Proceeds from fees to enter events such as the dog walk and the costume contest plus a baked goods sale and face painting for kids (not the dogs) will go to support the Humane Society. The group helps adopt animals and supports a spay-neuter program.
Mostly people were just celebrating their canine friends, which have become virtual family members.
One was picked up on the side of U.S. 421 in Wilkes County and now lives a happier more healthy life with Andre Johnson in Ashe. The rescuee got all his shots, worming, a good and regular diet, a dry place to sleep. Johnson got a Rottweiler-mix which “has the best nature of any dog I’ve known,” Johnson said.
All these organizations work to make life better in Ashe.
Adamson is Editor/General Manager and lives in West Jefferson.