Quilts created during the lifetime of a functionally blind quilter will be part of this year’s PrairieFest Quilt Show at Oswego’s historic Little White School Museum.
This year’s show, which will feature dozens of quilts entered by local residents, opens at 10 a.m. Friday, June 14, at the museum, 72 Polk Street (Jackson at Polk), two blocks from Oswego’s historic downtown business district. Admission is free. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 16.
This year’s special exhibit features quilts created by Laura May Howse Dow McDuffee. The quilts for the show are being lent by her grandson, Joe Porter of Oswego.
Laura May Howse was born Jan. 19, 1895, in Moweaqua, Shelby County, Ill. Born functionally blind, she was sent at 7 to the Illinois State School for the Blind in Jacksonville, where she spent the next 11 years. After marrying Benjamin Franklin Dow, she began quilting, an activity she followed the rest of her life, turning out numerous heirloom quilts that her descendants treasure to this day. Laura May McDuffee died in 1991 in Shelby County, IL, having outlived two husbands and leaving behind a legacy of children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren and a collection of fabric masterpieces.
The show is co-hosted by the Quilters Dozen Quilting Club, the Oswegoland Park District, and the museum.
A certified appraiser will be available to appraise visitors’ treasured quilts during the show on Friday and Saturday. The appraisal charge is $45 a quilt.
Quilters’ annual quilt raffle drawing June 16
In addition to this year’s quilt show, the Quilters Dozen are also hosting their annual fundraiser, the PrairieFest Quilt Raffle. One lucky winner will take home the 2019 PrairieFest Quilt, “Wind Farm,” named for the many pinwheel shapes scattered across this queen sized, 90-by-92-inch quilt.
The inspiration for this year’s quilt came from an article featuring the designer, Gerri Robinson, in the November/ December 2014 issue of “McCall’s Quilting” magazine. The cheerful red and cream blocks are made of cotton fabric and are entirely hand quilted by Quilters Dozen members. The process took about eight months to complete.
Quilt raffle donation is $1 a ticket or six tickets for $5. Raffle tickets are available from quilt club members and at the Little White School Museum during regular hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets for the raffle quilt also will be sold during the quilt show.
The drawing will be at 4 p.m. Sunday, June 16; the winner need not be present to win. Quilt raffle proceeds will benefit Oswego American Legion Post 675, the Oswegoland Park District’s PrairieFest celebration, and the Little White School Museum.
The Quilters Dozen meets weekly at the Oswego American Legion Post 675 Post Home, 19 West Washington Street, Oswego.
For Information on the quilt show, this year’s quilt raffle fundraiser or the Quilters Dozen, call Diana Schlosser, 630-554-9367 or Sue Matile, 630-554-8743.