How Did They Do That?

The making of the 2017 Scholarship Raffle Quilt, Jade Garden



Have you ever wondered how our beautiful one-of-a-kind raffle quilts go from brainstorming to beautiful Scholarship Quilt?

The process takes two years!  Following a show, we all enjoy a sigh of relief, pat ourselves on the back for another successful show and take a break.  NOT our designers!  In November/December, right after the show, the non-show year starts and the design process begins. 

According to designers, Linda Dearing and Shelley Greener, this process can be “quick, like the 2013 quilt Sweet Sunshine, or longer like the 2017 beauty, Jade Garden”.  

“Sometimes we have a specific idea and sometimes we fly by the ‘seat of our pants’,” says Shelley.  “We are always on the lookout for the next design ideas!”   “In the case of Jade Garden, we started with the idea that we wanted to use hexagons.  For us, the six sides were representative of the 60th Anniversary of Dutchess Community College.  The quilt just sort of grew from there.”

The color theme is usually started by one of the designers. They tend to alternate years and try to keep the color schemes different from year-to-year.  Fabric purchase is always a joint collaboration. 

Sounds like a lot of work, right?  This was only the beginning!  Design complete and fabrics selected, the designers drew all the applique pieces and prepare instructions for each section and block of the quilt. 

Blocks and applique kits were prepared for hand piecing.  In the case of Jade Garden, Linda and Shelley created more than 68 packets for distribution in March/April 2016.  Linda kept track of all the kits and who was working on them.  To stay on schedule, packets needed to be returned by June 2016 to complete the quilt top.  

Assembly began as soon as the designers had enough sections returned.  “When you have multiple people working on the same quilt, you can have problems putting it all together because everyone has their own version of the famous ¼” seam and the resulting blocks don’t match up”, says Linda. “With hand piecing, this problem is much less apparent.  Maybe because you are stitching on a line and going much slower?” 

Next, secondary packets went out for partial quilt top assembly.  “Yes!  There was a lot of “repackaging”.  The eight large diamonds were originally each handed out in four separate packs.  “As soon as four came back we grouped them together as one and sent them back out to be sewn together”, Linda added. By the time the quilt is completed, more than 30 volunteers will have added their time and talent to the creation of the Scholarship Quilt. (Many of the talented volunteers are members of the First Dutchess Quilter’s Guild.)

A design wall was used to keep track of what had been returned.  The design for Jade Garden was a “work in progress”, says Linda, “developing and changing as the finished areas grew.” 

To stay on schedule, Linda and Shelley needed the quilt top finished and basting complete to begin quilting by September/October 2016! They made that deadline!

They now have about 6 months for the quilt to make its rounds for hand quilting.  Linda is keeping track of the quilt and making sure it keeps moving from home to home, quilter to quilter.  It needs to be quilted, bound and washed before August for display at the 2017 Dutchess County Fair.  The Scholarship Quilt is a popular exhibit in Building E and an opportunity to increase raffle sales to support scholarship. 

At some point during this amazing process, Linda and Shelley began thinking about a name for the quilt.  “Naming quilts can vary,” says Shelley.  “Sometimes the quilt speaks to one of us.  Linda and I take suggestions for the name and we ask for input.  Ultimately, Linda and I always agree on the name.”

The 2017 Scholarship Quilt, Jade Garden, represents hundred’s of hours of work dedicated to this ultimate community service project! 

Jade Garden, like all the past Scholarship Quilts, generates tremendous interest and support for our scholarship.  100% of raffle ticket sales go directly to the Dutchess Community College Foundation to be added to the Dutchess Heritage Quilt Show Scholarship Fund.

And so the legacy continues….




Thank You Volunteers!

The following quilters combined their stitching talents to create the 2017 Scholarship QuiltJade Garden.

Karen Abramson                           Debbie Barbanti                                Dawn Bartolomeo                                 Joyce Brower

Patricia Clark                                Patricia Cowperthwaite                    Raymonda Crowe                                  Louise Duff

Helen Dugan                                 Marie Dunne                                    Anne Friedland                                       Jeanne Glick

Sue Hardy                                     Sue Hart                                           Barbard Haymann-Diaz                          Sally Johnson

Janet Jozwiak                                Elizabeth Kraayenbrink                   Marilyn Kurz                                          Diana Louie

Teresa Meyer                                Patricia Moran                                  Kathy Nasca                                           Mary Nisley

Gilda Pedatella                             Hilda Razz                                        Diana Shaff                                            Fran Sorce

Lois Stewart                                 Kathy Vanacoro                                Joan Viglione                                         Denise Warren

Elaine Watkins                             Carol Weber                                      Stacy Whittaker                                     Glenda Williams

Suzanne Yerks                              Darlene Tice                           

We wish to extend a special thank you to The Quilt Basket's Cathy Anderson and her daughter Sarah Fabian, for donating the batting and backing for the scholarship quilt.