Hannibal's 200-year history is shared on quilts in the Bicentennial Quilt Exhibition "Journey Through Time, Hannibal 1819 – 2019,” where the winning quilters were announced April 5 at the Mark Twain Museum Gallery.
Sharon Wasteney's quilt, “In the Beginning,” includes photos of early Hannibal history copied from Steve Chou's collection. Wasteney won second place in the art category. Her quilt also won Mayor James Hark's award for a special bicentennial quilt.
Copies of photos of early Hannibal history in this quilt are available at the Hickory Stick Quilt Shop, where Wasteney designs quilts and created this one for the bicentennial contest.
The contest was sponsored by Pat Waelder, owner of Hickory Stick, and coordinated by Wasteney.
Michelle Welbourne's quilt, “Life and Adventures of Mark Twain,” is another telling local history, winning first place in the art category. She enjoyed telling Twain's story, including his adventures and his books.
After the winners received their awards, Mark Twain Museum Executive Director Henry Sweets invited the public to view the quilts at the Museum Gallery until April 30. Sweets added a reminder that Hannibal residents are always admitted free to all the museum properties.
Winning quilts, owners and titles, first through third place respectively:
• Vintage category (made before 1969) – Linda Bier, “Bowtie”; Janet Brown, “Embroidered Baskets”; and Janet Brown, “Dresden Plate.”
• Art category – Michelle Welbourne, “Life and Adventures of Mark Twain”; Sharon Wasteney, “In the Beginning”; and Linda Muehring, “Pieces From Our Past.”
• Traditional category – Debbie Turner, "A Tribute to Mark Twain"; Laura Zeiger, “Days Gone By”; and Pat Hildebrand, “Spring Baskets.”
Linda Bier's "Bowtie" quilt was the oldest in the show. This historic quilt was made with a treadle sewing machine that was suspended from the ceiling. It was made between 1900 and 1910 by Mary Meyer Bash, who died in 1928. Bier bought it at an auction for $100 in 2005.
Linda Muehring said each quilt block in “Pieces From Our Past” includes a photo — such as a shoe factory, railroad or paddlewheel steamboat — along with a matching quilt pattern. She was excited to learn the Muehring family had once owned a Hannibal lumber company.
Debbie Turner's quilt, “A Tribute to Mark Twain,” was made for her son, Dustin Zima, a teacher who formerly worked at the Mark Twain Home in Hartford, Conn., and also was occasional caretaker at Quarry Farm in Elmira, N.Y., where Twain wrote in his gazebo.
Pat Hildebrand said she designed her hand-stitched “Spring Baskets” quilt, because it reminded her of her grandmother's flower gardens.
See photo gallery for more pictures of the winning quilts and quilters.