By MICHELLE BROOKS
Generous hearts and nimble fingers have been busy this spring quilting a queen-sized beauty for Russellville's 175th anniversary.
A few of the ladies from St. Michael's Parish, Trinity Lutheran Church and Mt. Olive Baptist Church helped with the 150th anniversary quilt, which hangs in City Hall.
What is different this time is the reduced number of avid quilters in the community.
What is the same is the fellowship.
While they pulled, clipped, marked and tightened at Friday's quilting bee, the ladies shared stories of past quilting groups and of special quilts they hope to show at the Frog Leg Festival and Engine Show June 7-9.
Rosemary Robertson remembers sitting in on her first quilting circle with a group of farmers wives in Enon about 1955.
"Quilting was your social life," Loretta Raithel said of a generation past.
The quilters found many opportunities to talk about grandchildren, too.
Although Sharon Murphy bragged on how her grandchildren were eager to stitch like Grandma, Celia Wolz noted her grandchildren didn't want their fingers to look like hers.
And they joked about quilting misadventures, like sewing a knife inside or left-handers' hard knocks.
Sharon Distler, organizer of the 175th anniversary quilt show, has nearly 20 quilts committed to the show and hopes for more before June.
Wanda Larimore has a friendship quilt stitched by her mother's quilting group. And Pauline Hager expects to show the double-wedding ring pattern with family names embroidered on it, which she provides to immediate family members when they turn 80.
A wonderful surprise, Shirley Looten was given a set of blocks prepared by her grandmother's quilting group during the Depression.
And the Mt. Olive Women's Missionary Union quilters may bring their scrapbook, showing each quilt they have donated to the Missouri Baptist Children's Home, Bridgeton, since the 1970s.