CAZENOVIA — This spring, the Cazenovia Public Library & Museum (CPL) has been working with the Towpath Quilt Guild to organize a community quilting project in preparation for the CazArts September Autumn Leaves Arts Festival.
According to CPL Adult Programming and Service Coordinator Renee Joseph, the goal of the project is to produce a quilt banner to hang in the library, and community members can contribute in a few different ways.
Experienced quilters are invited to make 10 in. x 10 in. autumn leaf quilt blocks at home and drop them off at the library by Aug. 11. A pattern will be available at the front desk to serve as a guide, but quilters are welcome to put their own creative spins on their blocks.
The library is also accepting donations of batik and cotton fabric that can be used by CPL staff to create quilt square kits for community members to pick up at the circulation desk. CPL is requesting that all the fabric be fall colors and measure at least 6 in. x 6 in. Donations will be accepted through June 15.
Registration for the quilt square kits begins on June 12, and kit pick-up begins on July 5.
The Betsy Kennedy Community Room is reserved for July 20, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., to give novice quilters of all ages the opportunity to receive assistance making their blocks from experienced Towpath guild members.
Every square will be signed by the individual who made it, and once all the squares have been collected, the guild members will connect them to form the Community Quilt Banner.
According to Joseph, the guild has already helped the library by creating a simplified template of a leaf pattern and by contributing a few squares.
“I’m really excited about the project,” said Joseph. “I think it will be a fun community [effort].”
The completed banner will be on display in the library starting Sept. 1. Additionally, CazArts President Geoffrey Navias will be displaying quilts from CPL’s archives and other community quilts in the CPL Art Gallery throughout September.
There will also be a special quilt display in the community room from Sept. 15-19 featuring the works of local quilting artist Sharon Bottle Souva.
A special reception will be held on Friday, Sept. 15 from 5 to 7 p.m. for the community to view the quilts in both the art gallery and community room.
On Sept. 19, at 6:30 p.m., Souva, who has been making quilts since 1976, will share her extensive knowledge and some of her quilted creations during a program in the community room.
The library will show the 1995 American drama film “How to Make an American Quilt” with Winona Ryder, Anne Bancroft, and Ellen Burstyn on Sept. 20 at 2 p.m. in the community room. Refreshments will be served, and a discussion will follow.
CPL’s “Connecting Collections” open book group will meet on Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss “The Runaway Quilt” by Jennifer Chiaverini. Copies of the book will be available at the front desk the first week of September. The ongoing Connecting Collections book club series pairs each book selection with an exploration of related items from CPL’s museum and archive collections. The group meets every other month, and all are welcome.
Throughout September, CPL’s children’s activities will also be based on the traditional quilt block and will include coloring, paper, and felt crafts.
According to Joseph, the library decided to focus its contribution to the community-wide September Autumn Leaves Arts Festival on quilts and the fabric arts for a few reasons.
“The Cazenovia Art Trail has a lot of other fine arts, like pottery, painting, and things like that, so I thought fabric arts would be a nice addition,” said Joseph. “[Quilts] are also cozy for fall and very representative of our area.”
She added that she was also inspired by a 2021 visit to the Schweinfurth Art Center in Auburn, where she viewed the exhibit “Threads Across Time” by Sarah Bond, who is known for her quilt-making inspired by modern design.
As the September Autumn Leaves Arts Festival approaches, the full four-week calendar of events will be posted on the CazArts website at cazarts.com.
To learn more about the Towpath Quilt Guild, visit towpathquiltguild.org.
Upcoming adult programs
On June 8, CPL will host a Brain Health and Alzheimer’s Awareness program at 6 p.m. in the community room.
On June 21, Dr. Juhanna Rogers, the 2021/2022 Stone Quarry Hill Art Park artist in residence, will speak about her interactive outdoor performative installation called “Queendom” at 6 p.m. in the CPL Reference Room. A selection of her work will be displayed in the art gallery.
On July 8, CPL is sponsoring a tour of the Oneida Community Mansion House and the Liberty Tabletop flatware manufacturing facility in Sherrill, NY. Transportation will be provided. The group will leave the library at 9 a.m. and return to Cazenovia at 2 p.m. Registration and a $10 cash or check returnable deposit are required.
For more information on these and other events, visit cazenoviapubliclibrary.org.