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Season of Quilts at Georgia Museum of Agriculture

It’s a quilters’ paradise at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College over the next eight weeks as the Season of Quilts continues with unique events sure to whet the appetite of quilters from across the globe.

On March 29, the Wiregrass Quilters Guild will unveil and dedicate a Churn Dash Barn Quilt that members created over the past year.  Visitor to the 2 p.m. ice cream social will see the culmination of hours upon hours of creative work on the barn quilt which will permanently hang on the side of the Wiregrass Opry Stage, visible from both directions on Interstate 75.

Museum assistant director and curator Polly Huff said the represented design, Churn Dash, was a popular quilt block during the late 1800s and early 1900s, the period in history portrayed by the museum.

“The Wiregrass Quilters have also created a fabric replica featuring the Churn Dash pattern which will be hung somewhere on site,” Huff said. “Visitors will be invited to follow clues to find and view the fabric quilt.”

Visitors to the Museum on March 29 are invited to participate in the dedication and ice cream social. Wiregrass Quilters Guild members will be admitted free upon presentation of their valid Guild membership card.

The Season of Quilts continues on April 4 with the opening of a one-woman exhibit featuring the work of Dr. Sue Turnquist, the 2013 American Legacy Viewers’ Choice Quilter.

“Unique quilts bursting with unusual and unexpected colors, patterns, and large appliqued images will be showcased in this month-long gallery exhibit,” Huff said.  “I compare Sue’s quilts to large watercolor paintings.  You must get close to realize you are taking in a fabric quilt and not a masterful painting. “

Turnquist’s World in Quilts will open to the public at 10 a.m. on April 4 and will remain on display until April 30 in the Museum Gallery. Along with the quilt exhibit in the Gallery, the Museum will host the 2014 American Legacy Quilt Show in the Peanut Museum April 4-5, and the annual Folklife Festival on April 5.

Turnquist, a veterinary pathologist, began her quilting journey 20 years ago following 18 years of higher education. Born in Nebraska and raised in the Midwest, Turnquist moved to Louisiana for veterinary school and fell in love with the southern culture.  She worked for the University of Missouri veterinary diagnostic lab for 15 years before joining Pfizer Pharmaceutical as a toxicological pathologist.

Turnquist moved to Tifton in 2011 to get back to working in diagnostic pathology at the Tifton Veterinary Pathology Lab.  

Huff said that Turnquist taught herself the basics of quilting via articles on the Internet, and eventually studied with well-known quilters including Caryl Bryer Fallert, Ruth McDowell, and Libby Lehman before settling into her own style. 

Turnquist’s first entry at the American Quilters’ Society show in Paducah, Ky., received a third place ribbon in the Wall Quilt category.   With her background in veterinary medicine, many of Turnquist’s quilts feature animals, and she has a special fondness for the log cabin block, a recurring theme in many of her quilts. 

“Many of Sue’s quilts have been shown extensively in the United States and have also been displayed in international exhibits,” Huff said.

The Gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Entry to the Gallery is included in the Museum admission price.
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