TORRINGTON – Terry Haines started sewing as a young girl, making her own clothes.
Carrying her love of fabric and sewing forward, she taught home economics for several years, eventually ending up at Southeast High School in Yoder. But, in all that time, she only made one quilt.
“I had no pattern and no idea what I was doing,” Haines said. “I’m a type of person who likes to know what I’m doing. That was more I-have-a-lot-of-fabric-scraps-and-I-don’t-want-to-throw-them-away.
“There wasn’t enough to make anything out of them, so I made a quilt,” she said. “Then I didn’t make another quilt for a long time.”
Until about 12 years ago, she said, when she retired as school counselor at Southeast and decided to join the Goshen County Quilters. Now, she’s the Featured Quilter at the group’s 25th annual Quilts Along the Platte quilt show at the Goshen County Rendezvous Center.
Haines will exhibit about 10 of her quilts during the show today (Friday) through Sunday. She’ll be on hand to answer questions, talk about her designs and share her love of sewing and quilting with visitors to the show.
Haines finished that first, tied quilt – which uses yarn or crochet thread in dozens or hundreds of individual ties to join the layers – while her home economics students were working on their own sewing projects. Throughout her years teaching, she also tasked her classes with making smaller quilts, which were donated to a hospital treating infant AIDS sufferers.
But, between raising her family and working, she couldn’t find the time to quilt. Haines thought about quilting for several years before she retired, but never made the switch, she said.
“Finally, I guess I was a little tired of making clothing,” she said. “I wanted to do something different.
“I knew a few of the people in the quilting group, so one of the first things I did when I retired was join” Goshen County Quilters, Haines said. “The other thing I did was join the Sunbonnet Girls at the Senior Center, making the sunbonnets we sell to raise money for the senior center.”
The Featured Quilter is selected by the Goshen County Quilters. Each member nominates three people and the votes are tabulated. Haines tied with one other person two years ago and it was decided one would be featured quilter last year and the other this year.
Everyone quilts for different reasons. Haines simply loves to sew.
“It’s a creative outlet,” she said. “It’s a love of fabric, a love of color.
“It’s a love of fabric, color, creativity and just a basic love of sewing,” Haines said. “And it’s useful. Quilts make great gifts – you don’t have to know someone’s size.”
Quilts Along the Platte will feature more than 165 individual quilts this year, said Jane Born, chairperson of the quilt show.
“It looks like it’s going to be our biggest year,” Born said. “We have 166 entries this year, and not all big quilts, some smaller items.
“But there are a lot of big quilts this year,” she said. “This is the year of the big quilts.”
The quilts will range from the traditional to what Haines calls more pictorial, show quilts. But Haines favors more traditional quilt designs for her creations.
“My quilts are not intended to be big show quilts,” she said. “My quilts are more for utilitarian purposes.
“They’re not the kind of quilt that are so fancy people don’t want to use them,” Haines said. “They’re designed to wrap up in or to throw on a bed. My quilts are made to be used.”