Brenda Motis holds a tatted doily brought to the "Labors of Love" quilt and craft show by Bernie Larsen.
A collection of Labors of Love was shared on Tuesday afternoon at the Exeter Senior Center.
The program welcomed anyone to bring in items that had been handmade to a sort of “show and tell” according to Fillmore County Senior Services Advisor Brenda Motis.
“There is always an interesting story with these things,” said Motis to start the show.
Many of the items were quilts, with several that were more than 100 years old.
Along with the items, many memories were fondly shared. Many of the women brought items that had been in their cedar or “hope” chests.
Evelyn Michl brought one of the seven sets of days of the week towels her mother had embroidered for her cedar chest. She never used any of them and plans to hand them down to her children and grandchildren.
Many of the items brought were passed down through several generations and made in the Czech republic, doilies, tablecloths, dresser scarves all intricately and perfectly made.
Several men shared their own version of handmade items created with wood and other materials. Bob Samuelson of Friend shared the Welch love spoon collection that he has made. He explained how in this tradition a young man would carve a spoon for a young lady who had caught his eye “if she accepted then things got serious.”
Many of the carvings on the spoons had specific meanings. As an example, Samuelson shared one he had made for his wife which contained two identical spheres twisted together indicating marriage and on the end three chain links which indicated their three children.
Richard Brunkow of Milligan brought a plexiglass hamburger mold and a wood napkin holder to show, while his wife brought one of the more than two dozen baby quilts she has created for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
All of the quilts brought to the show had a colorful top as well as a story behind them. Francis Pracheil shared her stained glass flower quilt that was stunning. She designed the blocks based on flowers that were special to her including a sunflower for Kansas where she was born and a hibiscus reminiscent of her visit to Hawaii.
Rhonda Stokebrand, who also is an advisor for Fillmore County Senior Services, brought a quilt made by her mother who passed away in the last year. The quilt was made of fabric scraps of many of the dresses her mother made for her in her childhood. Stokebrand explained that while her mother was making the quilt something in the sewing room caught fire and her mother escaped but the original quilt top did not. It was completely burned. Her mother had several extra squares that survived although they retained some smoke and water damage which made them all the more precious to Stokebrand.
Frances Becwar brought the intricately made flower garden quilt that her mother crafted in which each piece was no larger than a 1” square.
Many crocheted items were shared with Elva Mc Bride sharing a butterfly prayer shawl. She explained that after the shawl is made a prayer is said over it and is thought to bring blessing to anyone who might wear it.
Embroidered items, afghans, crocheted blankets, baby quilts, counted cross stitch, cut work, tatting and cross stitch items were shared during the afternoon along with their legacies.
Stokebrand complimented the crowd on their beautiful items and quipped “Our generation buy comforters on a whim but you truly know what labors of love are.”