Quilt block replaces chopping block in Fruita

Marty Bleak, left, and Marion Fenner, members of Sunset Slope Quilters in Grand Junction, made this quilt titled “Let’s tie one on ... FOR THE TROOPS!” in celebration of National Quilting Day on March 20. This quilt and others like it - depicting a yellow ribbon around the base of a tree -¬†will be on display Saturday at Mesa Mall, then will be donated to the Grand Junction Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

A free pattern for this rooster is available at http://www.fatcatpatterns.com. It’s an original design by Sindy Rodenmayer of Garland, Texas.



Sunset Slope Quilters, a guild of about 200 members in Grand Junction, will celebrate the 19th annual National Quilting Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 20, at Claire’s Court in Mesa Mall. Each year, the guild takes the opportunity to exhibit their quilts, promote their craft and show how they serve the community.

This year, members once again invite the public to view their popular “bed turning,” with full-size quilts displayed and turned back periodically for viewers. Three members will demonstrate hand quilting, needle turn applique and embellishments. A slide show will feature the guild’s events and activities throughout the past year.

The community affairs chairwoman will share projects made and given to those in need, such as Toys for Tots and Habitat for Humanity.

A new interactive experience is planned, called quiltblocks.edu, asking viewers to match quilt block names to the correct blocks. (Can you guess which one is Sunbonnet Sue or Log Cabin or Snail’s Trail, perhaps?)

Each year, the National Quilting Association based in Columbus, Ohio, designs and offers a free theme quilt for the observance of National Quilting Day. This year, it’s titled “Let’s Tie One On ... FOR THE TROOPS!” You can download the pattern at http://www.nqaquilts.org.

Some of the Sunset Slope Quilters in Grand Junction have made these quilts, including event co-chairwomen Marty Bleak and Marion Fenner. They will be displayed during the day at Mesa Mall, then donated to the Grand Junction Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Sunset Slope Quilters meets at 9:15 a.m. on the second Wednesday of the month at American Lutheran Churach, 631 26 1/2 Road. All levels of quilters are invited. The guild was formed in 1986 and began participating in National Quilting Day in 1993.

For information about the guild or Saturday’s event at the mall, call Bleak, 263-0643, or Fenner, 254-9791.

I’m not looking to egg anyone on, but here’s a quilting activity that might help you secure a high spot in the pecking order: the 2010 Quilt Block Chicken Challenge.

If you’ve lived in these parts any length of time at all, you’ve likely heard about the Mike the Headless Chicken Festival in Fruita. The town turned a rather macabre tale into a celebration, going so far as to erect a statute in his honor on the main drag (actually Aspen Avenue).

Seems that back in 1945, a Fruita farmer’s ax missed the jugular vein in the young rooster’s neck, allowing Mike to remain alive after being decapitated.

The fowl became famous for avoiding the dinner table, and his owners capitalized on this strange phenomenon through magazine stories and publicity tours for 18 months.

Sadly, the bird finally choked and couldn’t be resuscitated.

But to this day, the folks in Fruita throw an annual party to commemorate Mike’s pluckiness.

This year, the Fruita Arts and Culture Board has issued a chicken challenge to quilters and will give a $200 best of show prize to the best block.

Here’s how to enter:

Fabrics, fibers and embellishments are restricted only by the artist’s imagination.

Blocks may be produced by hand or machine; they must be 9.5-inches square with a 1/4-inch seam allowance.

Pin or use a sticky label to identify your block. Enter your name, contact number, e-mail and mailing address. (Do not use scotch tape as it tends to ruin the fabric.)

Each entry will be matted for display with your name on the mat during Mike the Headless Chicken Festival, scheduled May 14–15 in Fruita.

After a display, the blocks will be assembled into a quilt to be auctioned during the festival in 2011.

Proceeds will go toward ongoing efforts to promote, support and encourage art and culture opportunities in Fruita.

This year, blocks will be featured on two Web sites: http://www.fruitaart.com and http://www.Miketheheadlesschicken.org.

All block entries must be received by May 6.

Submit them to YOCOM, 142 N. Maple St., Fruita, CO 81521 or any arts and culture board member.

Please contact Kellie Yocom before mid-April if you are participating, so she can prepare mats for the entries, 210-7596 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

If you prefer to have your block returned rather than included in a quilt, indicate “display only” on the entry. It will not qualify for a cash prize.

Yocom says the arts and culture group decided this would be a good year to get fiber artists involved.

“You can enter as many blocks as you want,” she says.

Sounds like fun, don’t you think? Ol’ Mike may have lost his top, but you could end up with something to crow about.

E-mail Sherida.Warner@ gjsentinel.com.


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