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Free workshop will show how to make a quilt top in a day

By Ardeana Hamlin
of the Weekly Staff

BANGOR — Rome, it is said, wasn’t built in a day, but librarian and quilter Valerie Osborne will tell you that it’s possible to build a quilt top in a day. To prove that point she will conduct a Quilt in a Day workshop 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, April 20,  in the Lecture Hall at the Bangor Public Library.

The lap-size quilt, she said, is “a simple pattern any beginner can do. Depending on the fabric choices, it can be quite stunning.”

Those who wish to take advantage of the free workshop may register and pick up a free packet containing instructions, materials list and tools needed for the workshop. Attendees will need to bring a sewing machine, fabric and various sewing tools.

Osborne said she will organize a shopping excursion for those with no quilting experience and advise them on fabric selection for the quilt top. The hardest part of any quilt project, she said, is selecting the fabric.

“It’s a good way to donate to program to a library,” she said of the fact that she is volunteering her time to conduct the workshop. “It’s a great way to meet other people and enjoy the camaraderie that develops among those who sew together.” she said.

Osborne, who served as librarian at Old Town Public Library for 25 years, and is now the Northeast Maine library district consultant for the Maine State Library, was one of the founders of the Canoe City Quilters Guild a dozen or so years ago. Her co-founders were Noni Daly and Orela Hilchey Chandler. The guild attracted 35 members that first year and still has 12-15 who continue to meet twice each month at Old Town High School, she said.

The workshop will be the third one Osborne has conducted in a library. The first was at Falmouth Memorial Library in Falmouth, the second was at Thompson Memorial Library in Dover-Foxcroft.

Nine people attended the Falmouth edition of the workshop. “They had so much fun they started their own quilting guild,” she said.

Osborne said she has made more than 100 quilts since 1992. “Quilts are a way of leaving a part of yourself behind for someone else,” she said. In 2001, when her daughter graduated from high school, Osborne made 22 quilts — 18 for her daughter’s friends and four for teachers and coaches.

The quilt pattern that will be used in the Quilt in a Day workshop is called “Endless Summer” and is categorized as a “modern” quilt design, meaning that it has simple lines and shapes. “It’s all about color,” Osborne said, “simple, clean lines.”

To learn more about modern quilt designs, Osborne, ever the helpful librarian eager to help others access the knowledge that books contain, recommends these titles:

• “City Quilts: 12 Dramatic Projects Inspired by Urban Views” by Cherri House.

• “Quilts Made Modern: 10 Projects, Keys for Success with Color and Design, From the FunQuilts Studio” by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr.

• “Cozy Modern Quilts: 23 Easy Pieced Projects to Bust Your Stash” by Kim Schaefer.

• “Bright and Bold Cozy Modern Quilts: 20 Projects Easy Piecing Stash Busting” by Kim Schaefer.

Osborne said her hope is that through the workshop “maybe I can spark someone to get excited about quilting.”

Advance registration for the workshop is required by emailing Sue at

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