GRAFTON—A little piece of Grafton’s history will soon be on display at the Taylor County Public Library, thanks to a heartfelt donation by someone who spent many summers in the community.
When her grandmother, Phoebe Setler Poling, passed away, Mary Ann Wooten received boxes of her crafting supplies and remnants of unfinished pieces. Within the collected items, Wooten came across hand-embroidered squares that were destined to be turned into a quilt.
“I’m not sure how the squares came to be, whether it was through her church or if it was just a group of friends, but many of the names on the tiles were familiar,” she said. “My grandmother loved to sew and crochet. Her hands were never idle.”
She said that once she saw the pieces, she knew that they should return to their home, to be displayed and appreciated by residents who might have a tie to them. Each of the hand-embroidered patches showcases flowers, along with the crafters name.
“I really wanted them to come back to Grafton because they are a piece of the city’s history,” said Wooten. “I felt like someone needed to see them, and they needed to be shared with the town.”
Through contact with Olive Ricketts of the Taylor County Historical and Genealogical Society, they not only made their way home, but were finally pieced together into a beautiful quilt.
“I love Grafton, it is my favorite place. I think that it is the neatest place in the whole world,” said Wooten. “I know that there are people trying hard to make it what it used to be and make it pretty, and I just wanted to help out.”
The squares, which were created in the 1930s, made their way to Grafton in the fall. Jane Trickett, noting the discoloration of the tiles, soaked them in a solution to bring them back to their former glory, and then she and Becky Willis, both members of the Christian Sisters Quilters of Taylor County, got to work on the project.
“Becky donated the fabric for the backing of the quilt, and then I worked to assemble the pieces,” revealed Trickett. “It is done in what is called a tied quilt style, meaning that the backing, batting and front piece are secured with ties.”
She said that it is the style in which the quilt would have been completed during the 1930s, and she wanted to keep it as historically accurate as possible.
The quilt took approximately eight weeks to complete, as Trickett worked to sew each of the squares together
“We finished right before the COVID-19 Pandemic started, so displaying the work was put on hold,” said Trickett. “I like history and how everything intertwines and comes together, so this project was very enjoyable to me.”
According to Ricketts, the quilt will be made available for public viewing at the Taylor County Public Library beginning Saturday, July 11.
“It will be on display there for a couple of weeks, before we move it to the Taylor County Historical and Genealogical Society’s building (the old M&M Bank Building located downtown),” she revealed.
Wooten shared that she had seen pictures of the finished product and is beyond pleased with how it turned out.
“It is absolutely beautiful,” she expressed. “It is a great representation of Grafton. Just like the unique squares that came together to form this pretty piece, the people of Grafton come together to make up a beautiful place. It is a place that really holds a large piece of my heart, and I was so glad that the quilt will be displayed for the residents to see.”