Leitersburg Peach Festival

July 29, 1999|By ANDREA ROWLAND

LEITERSBURG - It's literally the fabric that helps hold this small community together.

The many hours invested in the creation of the quilt to be raffled Sunday, Aug. 8, at the 20th annual Leitersburg Ruritan Peach Festival was time well-spent, quilt makers say.

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Proceeds from Leitersburg Classic Quilt raffle ticket sales will benefit deserving individuals and organizations in the town and surrounding areas, says Mary M. Bachtell, one of six Leitersburg residents who produced the one-of-a-kind queen-sized quilt.

Proceeds from past quilts have helped fund such causes as hearing aids and cancer treatments for area children, a prosthesis for a local woman, a wheelchair square dance, holiday food baskets, The Maryland Theatre and a 4-H building, Bachtell says.


Armed with quilting needles, Bachtell and fellow quilters Margaret Byrd, Lillian M. Smith, Thelma Eshelman and Ella Weaver spent nearly 100 hours around the quilting frame in Bachtell's home, she says.

The women hand-appliqued and stitched over hundreds of pencil marks depicting a peach basket bearing a bonnet girl backed by an intricate webbing of peaches and leaves.

"There are no two peaches alike," Bachtell says.

Leitersburg artist Lynn Dutton sketched the unique design freehand, Byrd says.

"It's a beautiful quilt, and Lynn deserves a lot of credit because she's a real artist," Byrd says.

Dutton, who is a graduate of Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, a former art teacher and antiques store owner, says the nearly 30 hours she spent designing the quilt was her first experience with applique. The task was an experiment, she says.

"I had no rules to go by," Dutton says.

For the design, she drew a bonnet girl - a traditional quilting symbol - sketched the peach and leaves pattern on the foundation fabric behind the girl and chose complementary fabrics from which she cut the different shapes.

Bachtell says the handmade design made "each stitch interesting," while Dutton says the chore "helped me prove to myself that I can do an original design."

Such handmade quilts often sell for up to $2,000, Bachtell says. Chances on the Peach Festival quilt cost $1.

"This is for a good cause," Dutton says. "Ticket sales transfer to money, which transfers to help."

A committee from Leitersburg Grange No. 361 is in the process of deciding how to distribute this year's proceeds, Bachtell says.

Call 301-733-4471 for ticket information.

Activities set for Aug. 7, 8

LEITERSBURG - The commemorative quilt for the Leitersburg Ruritan Peach Festival is one of the many attractions at the 20th annual event.

Slated for Saturday, Aug. 7, and Sunday, Aug. 8, the festival will be inside Leitersburg Grange 361 on Leitersburg Pike, and outside in Leitersburg Community Park, according to Grange members Lillian M. Smith and Mary M. Bachtell.

Sponsored by the Ruritan Club, the event will include craft and food stands, children's activities, a country store and country music.

Edible highlights of the festival will include a peach pie contest, peach dumplings, cobbler and ice cream.

- Andrea Brown-Hurley, Staff Writer

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