In October, a representative of the Summit County Library Board of Trustees and a member of the Breckenridge Public Art Commission approached the Summit Quilters with a proposal.
“They presented us with an idea they had about having a quilt put in the new south branch library,” said Deb Conway, of Breckenridge, a member of the Summit Quilters. “They gave us some ideas of what we could start thinking about and they left that night after our meeting and we kind of had a vote amongst everyone there. It was unanimous, everyone wanted to do it, so that’s how it started.”
The quilters began brainstorming ideas and broke into groups of three or four people to work on individual sections of the overall design. Over the past seven months, they’ve assembled the main sections of the quilt.
“Everybody gave their input on how they saw the process continue and be put together,” Conway said. “It was a collaboration of many, many people with the know-how to get everything together. There’s still a lot yet to be done, but it will be more embellishments on top of the quilt.”
Myrlene Zimmerman, president of the Summit Quilters, said it’s the teamwork and the fact that the group was asked to complete the project in the first place that makes it special.
“When we first took on this library quilt, I think several of us were hesitant that we could do it, but we are doing it,” she said. “We’re broken up into teams and each team is responsible for something, and the girls are volunteering to be on the teams and to help out. We’re kind of coming together and working on something which is a little unusual because most of us just do our own little projects.”
Conway said the finished quilt will be about 75 inches long by 47 inches wide and will be hung in the library’s historic reading room above the fireplace, hemmed by bookshelves on either side.
“The basic piece is the old schoolhouse, so that’s been our goal all along is to work around that,” Conway said. “So we have the schoolhouse basically with a picture of the sky, mountains, grass. There will be a bookshelf on the quilt, which will have some historic book names and authors, and the schoolhouse will have some architectural features that you’ll see the scrollwork when you look at the building on the sides of the building, which is a pretty important architectural feature.
“We’ll be putting some embellishments on top with threads and beads or ribbons — we’re still working on that so we don’t have all the techniques in place yet. We keep changing things.”
Zimmerman is a member of the team working on the mountain section of the quilt.
“We had to coordinate the coloring — do you like this one, or that one, ideas on colors and arrangement and everything — that was the way with every team, the sky team, mountain team, grass team. Those are essentially done, and the schoolhouse was done. … Once that is put on, we’ll be embellishing. It’s been a team effort.”
About the Summit Quilters
The Summit Quilters was founded in 1992, Conway said.
“We started because we wanted to share ideas, knowledge, quilting problems, successes — things that people run into when they are working on quilts,” she said. “We like people that are interested in quilting, no matter who they are. We have quite a few members that have been here since the 1992 timeframe, and we have a lot of new quilters, too.”
Conway said that from her experience being involved with quilters in different areas, the group is both a social and a creative outlet.
“There’s so many stages to creating a quilt and getting it to its finished product, and you might start with certain types of ideas and then they change possibly, most likely, throughout the whole process,” she said. “There’s a lot to learn; there’s a lot to give back to people in your experiences.”
Zimmerman said she just loves to quilt and she works on her projects every day in one fashion or another.
“I do my own quilting,” she said. “A lot of ladies send their quilts out to have them quilted on a long arm and it’s pretty expensive, but I do all mine on my own. I like doing the whole thing.
“We have a show every year in August, this year will be Aug. 10, we set up in the chapel of the historical park in Frisco and we usually have about 30 quilts. It’s a visitors’ choice, so the community comes through and sees our quilts and votes on their favorites. … I’ve made a lot of friends through the years that I’ve been in the group.”