Advertisement

Quiltmaker's donations help make Potter's Bowl event special

February 04, 2013|By JANET HEIM | janeth@herald-mail.com
  • Susan Stull works on a quilt that will be donated to the Potter's Bowl auction to benefit the Community Free Clinic.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

The quilt speaks for itself. It’s log cabin design, with the setting of a barn raising, is done in shades of navy blue, burgundy and tan reproductions of Civil War fabric.

Quiltmaker Susan Stull is also a Civil War reenactor, so the 150th anniversaries of the Battles of Antietam and Gettysburg were her inspiration.

For more than 15 years, Stull, 61, has donated a handmade quilt to the Potter’s Bowl live auction. The Potter’s Bowl, to be held on Sunday, benefits the Community Free Clinic of Washington County.

This is the 21st year for the event, which is sponsored by B’nai Abraham Synagogue and Trinity Lutheran Church in Hagerstown. It will be held at the First Christian Church in Hagerstown.

The first year, she and a friend had made a quilt together and decided to donate it to the cause. Stull started making a quilt on her own each year after that.

She purchases “top of the line” fabric from Wilson’s Quilt Shop, where she has taken many quilting classes. Stull estimates she spends about $300 on fabric and supplies and said Wilson’s “always help me every year.”

Stull cuts the quilt pieces and machine pieces the top, then takes it to Wilson’s to have it machine quilted. She then machine sews on the binding, then rolls over the raw edges and hand stitches the binding, which takes more than eight hours on its own.

“I take my little piece of donation and grow it. Time is kind of incidental,” said Stull, who lives in Hagerstown.

The highest bid ever received for one of Stull’s quilts is more than $800.

“The people that come to the Potter’s Bowl are wonderful, generous people. They come prepared to spend money,” Stull said.

Admitting she’s “a last minute person,” Stull said she tries to work on the quilt for about two hours each night and on weekends, although she’s working on it in her mind all year.

“It’s relaxing,” she said.

Of all the quilts Stull has made over the years, she’s only kept a few, mainly the ones she’s made while taking classes, so she can refer back to them to see the technique. The rest have been donated, including several to Habitat for Humanity of Washington County’s annual Dinner-Auction.

During the day, Stull is an English as a Second Language teacher at Emma K. Doub Elementary School and E. Russell Hicks Middle School, where she also does after-school tutoring. Then there’s a long list of church activities.

“My husband’s great. He cooks on weekends so I can sew all weekend,” Stull said of her husband of 42 years, Doug Stull.

He also drives her to quilt shows and has joined her in Civil War reenacting, Susan said.

“I want to do everything,” she said.

Stull, who is originally from Frederick, Md., learned to sew when she was young from an aunt. Quilting followed in the 1960s.

“Our Frederick church stitched a quilt for Church World Service. That’s when I started,” Stull said.

Stull said the quilts she makes now are nowhere like the quilts she used to make.

“I keep learning things,” she said.

Stull belongs to the Friendship Quilters Guild and recently helped start Trinity Piecemakers, a small weekly quilting group of women at her church who work on a quilt for Kriskindlemart, a German Market started by the church in 2011.

“The fellowship is as fun as everything,” said Stull, who added that her husband brings the group dinner each week.

The group jokingly refers to their work space in the former parsonage of the church as “Sue’s Sweat Shop”.

Stull also does quilt talks as part of her reenacting. She said during the Civil War, Southern women sold quilt to buy gun boats, but the boats kept getting sunk, so the women started sending the money directly to the soldiers for their use.

The Stulls have three grown children and four grandchildren.

“When you can do something that you love to do, and it helps others, you just get a bigger light and keep going,” Stull wrote in an email.

Advertisement
The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|