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United Presbyterian Church in Cuyahoga Falls to unveil centennial quilt

by Steve Wiandt | reporter Published: October 9, 2016 12:00 AM

Cuyahoga Falls -- Those attending a local church's pie baking event will have a chance to witness the unveiling of the congregation's centennial quilt.

United Presbyterian Church is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Part of that observance is the creation of an 85-square-inch quilt made by members of the church, their family and friends.

The first public showing of the quilt is on Oct. 15 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the church's Centennial Pie Bake off & Quilt Show in the church's fellowship hall at 2819 Hudson Drive.

Quilters have been working since February, completing their labor of love on Sept. 24, said Michelle Walters, an 11-year member of the church and the coordinator of the centennial quilt project.

Walters said this is not the first quilt made for the church by its members, however, this is the first time an open invitation was extended to anyone and everyone who wanted to help, regardless of sewing experience.

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The project began, Walters said, when someone was taking into account that quilts had been made for the church in the past and said, "We should make one for the centennial Michelle, why don't you head that up?" Walters recalled being taken by surprise by the suggestions, but agreed to lead the effort.

"We as a church did a quilt one time and asked specific people to each make a square," Walters said. "Other people later heard about it and said, 'I would have made a square if I had known about it."

This time she wanted to include everyone. "In creating it I wanted to come up with a design that anybody and everybody could help with," she said. "So whether they were a sewer or not, they could help. They could cut strips, or they could sew, or they could press. I am adamant about pressing and making it look neat as you go along."

In all, 25 to 30 people helped make the quilt, she said.

Walters said in addition to this all-inclusive method of creating the quilt she has invited everyone who has ever come to United Presbyterian Church to sign the quilt, no mater if they came to the church one time or they are a longtime member. Also, descendants of past members and attendees who are deceased are encouraged to sign their predecessors' names, as well, she said.

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Walters, who has been sewing since she was 10 and in 4-H in Michigan, said she started sewing with her mother and continued to learn by doing the work as an adult, making garments and then quilts. She and her husband, Mark, have between them four children and 12 grandchildren.

She said the centennial quilt's front is centered by a diamond-shaped piece of purple fabric taken from a parament, or sacramental hanging, that draped the altar of the original church in 1916. Around the diamond are the words: United Presbyterian Church, 1916-2016, Centennial Journey Celebration.

The back of the quilt has a large cross that Walters stitched herself.

The centennial quilt will be permanently hung in the church beginning in December when the church's anniversary is celebrated. A member of the church, Randy Sarver, is going to make a wooden hanger for it, Walters said.

Email: swiandt@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9420

Twitter: @SteveWiandt_RPC

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