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Quick Quilter

Diane Lecheler and Rachel Herbison made a quilt for next summer's Farm Technology Days in Pierce County. Submitted photos1 / 2
Quilt by Diane Lecheler and Rachel Herbison. Submitted photo.2 / 2

Dianne Lecheler, a technological quilter, along with another savvy quilter, Rachel Herbison, used their make a unique quilt.

Carolyn Fenske, co-chairman of the Family Living Tent of Farm Technology Days (FTD) requested Lecheler to do a commemorative quilt for a raffle at the 2010 FTD.

"It was an honor to be asked," said Lecheler.

A major statewide event of FTD occurs on July 20-22, 2010, at the Roger and Bev Peterson's farm outside of River Falls.

Researchers and developers of farm technology created free-stall barns Peterson is currently developing at his farm. The free-stall barn is in conjunction with the milking parlor. The cows lie in the sand and new technology allows the sand to be separated from excrement.

Researchers and developers of quilt technology brought a new order of sewing machines for lettering, appliqué and machine quilting, as shown on the recent quilt of Lecheler and Herbison.

Lecheler discovered the "Old Glory" pattern in Home Sweet Home, by Barb Adams and Alma Allen, written in 2005. The pattern was an inspiration of the patriotic approach for the FTD. Lecheler wanted a quilt that was "different and unique," so she dealt with color that was different from the pattern. Lecheler and Herbison worked with red, white and blue fabric colors to create a patriotic quilt. Despite their full time jobs of Lecheler's Design by Dianna and Herbison's PC Plants and More, plus families and friends, Lecheler and Herbison completed "Old Glory" in one month.

The beginning and completion of the quilt in one month is amazing. Most quilters are hobby quilters who spend approximately a year to complete a quilt. They choose the appropriate pattern as well as matching colors of fabrics. Onward are the techniques of rotary cutting fabrics, stitching pieces and handling challenges of the pattern. The primarily unknown techniques most non-quilters are unaware of are the quilters' batting and backing to prepare for quilting. The hand quilting or machine quilting requires time and, finally, the quilt is completed with binding.

The appliqué techniques of the "Old Glory" quilt were shown in the American flag and flowers from the Home Sweet Home pattern, using fusible web and tear away paper. According to Lecheler, ironically it took longer for tracing blocks than changing the thread that stitched on the quilt.

At a recent FTD Fall Festival, events of tram rides, cookbooks, face and pumpkin painting entertained children and adults. People also viewed the commemorative quilt and the 1947 Cub Tractor that were available for raffle tickets.

"I love the patriotic quilt," said Emily Lyon-Hanson, River Falls.

Both Lyon-Hanson and friend Spring Loberg, El1sworth, noted the matching of definite colors and the very American look. And Jim Geraets of Spring Valley thought it would be a wonderful gift to win.

Quilting has rarely been displayed at the Wisconsin Farm Technology Days. Quilts almost died in the 1940's, when women worked different roles in their lives. Quilts were rarely stitched through 1950's, 1960's and 1970's.

However, quilts began again in 1976 on the history of 200 years of the Declaration of Independence in America.

Historically, in the 1800's, Midwestern pioneer women were forced to use tiny leftover fabrics for blankets...they became quilts. Eastern women created masterpieces of appliqué styles of quilting. But Midwesterners grabbed leftover fabrics and created beautiful quilt pieces that represent agriculture, education and family: Bear Paws, Flying Geese, Storm at Sea, Stars, Dove in the Window, Hole in the Barn Door, Rail Fence, Underground Railroad, Courthouse Steps, One-Room School, Log Cabin, Irish Chain, Broken Dishes, Hearts, Baskets, and Trees and Trees and Trees. The quilt blocks were practical and yet exquisite.

Those pieces continue today with further creation of fabrics and designs of Bali, stained glass, McKenna Ryan's Farms, farmer's market, story quilts, seasons, holidays, remembrances of 1860's and 1930's and more.

The "Old Glory" quilt shows both the past and the present.

"Quilts have been with us since the early 1800's," said Lecheler. "The new quilts of today offer history as well as the most creative techniques and artistic quilts of today."

To win the quilt or the tractor, tickets are available at: Hines Auction Service - Ellsworth, Ag Star--Baldwin,-Ellsworth Auto Parts, Inc. -Ellsworth, Designs by Dianne - Plum City, Sailer's Food Market and Meat - Elmwood, Behrens Motor Supply, Inc - River Falls, Behrens Supply Company - Red Wing and Pierce County UW-Extension Office - Ellsworth.

The Old Glory Quilt Schedule (tentative) includes:

--Nov. 21, Saturday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Craft Sales, River Falls High School;

--Dec. 5, Saturday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. ~ St Bridget's Catholic Church, River Falls;

--Jan. 4- 28, 2010, Spring Valley Public Library;

--Jan. 29 - Feb. 12, 2010, Plum City Public Library;

--Feb. 14 - March 14, 2010, Quilt Show; "Old Glory" at center display, River Falls Public Libraryp;

--March 15-April 3, Ellsworth Public Library.