Monday, March 1, 2010

Indiana Heritage Quilt Show: The Next Generation

Categories: press releases

Media Contact:
Laura Newton, 812-391-0009 or

Indiana Heritage Quilt Show: The Next Generation

Bloomington, Ind. - Bloomington’s annual Indiana Heritage Quilt Show welcomes three very special new exhibitors this year. There are three young quilters with creations in this year’s show, ages 7-9. IHQS Quilt Show organizers are very excited to be displaying works from the next generation of quilters.

All three of these talented young ladies have close ties to the Bloomington area: sisters Greta and Marta Stephenson are Bloomington residents; Elaine Hilton lives in Greenfield, but spends a lot of time in Bloomington visiting her grandparents.


Greta Stephenson

The oldest of this trio of quilters is Greta, age nine, who says she got started in the fabric arts at age five when she began to cross-stitch. She enjoyed the hobby so much, that she soon began doing simple sewing alongside her mother. Greta credits her mother, Maria Schmidt, with influencing her interest in quilting.

Greta says her creation “Simply Seminole” took between two and three months to complete.  “It was for a class project. I did research on Seminole Quilts and Native Americans. I picked out the fabric and the strip patterns that I wanted to use and then worked on my project.

Greta made her first quilt in the second grade, when she was only seven years old for a Pioneer Project. ”I picked out the fabric, washed it, ironed it, helped cut it out and then did the sewing,” she said. “My mom would help me guide the strips through the sewing machine and when I was tired of doing that, I would push the pedal and she would sew. I even sewed about half of the binding on my Pioneer quilt. One of my favorite parts is the ironing. I like hand sewing, but it is hard.” 

Marta Stephenson

Following in her older sister’s footsteps, Marta, age seven, began cross-stitching at age four and began doing simple sewing projects with her mother at age five. “Together, we made book tote bags for my kindergarten class. My mom would help me guide the fabric through the sewing machine. One of my favorite parts is the ironing,” said Marta of her early projects.  Marta also enjoys sewing the strips of fabric involved in creating her quilts.

Marta’s entry in the quilt show, ­­­­“Sunshine,” took her only about two to three weeks to make, she said. “I made one just like this for a gift exchange for Girl Scouts.” The work is a small scale quilt, measuring just 10 inches by 10 inches.

Elaine Hilton

The third young quilter featured in the quilt show is Elaine Hilton, age eight. Elaine says she started her fabric stash when she was really little. “Granny takes me with her and I just love the fabric and all the colors.”  She has attended the IHQS with her grandmother for the past five years and loves seeing all the pretty quilts each year, “It will be fun to see my quilt in the show.”

Elaine credits her grandmother, Bloomington resident and quilter Susie Goodman, with teaching her how to quilt. “To learn to sew, Granny first had me sit on her lap and help her sew.  Then she let me do it all myself.  That's when she said I was ready to begin my own quilt. I like to thread the machine and it's really fun to wind bobbins. Granny has given me her old Bernina that I keep at her house since my Mom can't sew at all. “

Of the quilt she entered in this year’s Quilt Show, “Elaine’s First Ever Quilt,” Elaine said, “I was given the background fabric for my quilt for Christmas a year ago.  My cousin Carla is a quilter and she bought a sweet doll for me.  She noticed the fabric on the doll and thought she had some in her stash.  She did, so she gave it to me with the doll and said I should make a quilt out of it.  Granny and I pulled some matching fabric from our stashes and then I told her what I wanted it to look like.  Granny helped me draw the snowball pattern and figure out the sizes, but I did it all by myself. I really like to meander quilt too.  It took me a while to make the quilt because we would just do a little each time I came to Granny and Grandpa's house.” 

Since completing this quilt, Elaine has finished two other creations, one as a Christmas gift for her teacher and the other for her babysitter, made from scarves. Elaine and her grandmother are currently planning a family quilting retreat with a few other family members .  Elaine already has a couple of projects in mind to work on at the retreat. She says “Granny says that’s the way it is with quilters – always something to think about!”


Works by Greta, Marta and Elaine, along with over two hundred other entries, can be seen at the Indiana Heritage Quilt Show this Thursday through Saturday at the Convention Center. The Quilt Show will be open from 9 am to 6 pm on Thursday and Friday and from 9 am to 5 pm on Saturday.  Admission to the show is $7 for adults and $2 for children ages 7-12, children ages six and under are free. 

For more information on the Indiana Heritage Quilt Show, call 812.391.0009 or visit For information on lodging options available in the Bloomington area, call the Bloomington Visitors Center at 800.800.0037 or log on to

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