Sewing Community Seeds

Front: Kirra and Peyton Duncan, age 8 and 10; Back: Judi Gerew, Judy Duncan and Mary Johnson stand below “Grandmother’s Jumping Jacks,” the paper-pieced quilt the five created and bestowed to the book station. Fabric for the quilt was donated by Nancy Sullivan and Penny Westrick.

There was street parking only for most of the morning on May 11, when the Sharps Chapel community came together to celebrate a long-anticipated event at the Historic Oak Grove School, now home to the Sharps Chapel Book Station.

Norris Lake Quilting Bee members Mary N. Johnson, Emily Lemming, Rita Poteet, Nancy Sullivan, Judi Gerew, Rebecca Miller, Janet Pauciulo, along with three Sharps Chapel residents, Kirra, Judy and Peyton Duncan made a decision to dive headfirst into a community project.

The group created original machine and hand-sewn quilts for donation to the Sharps Chapel Book Station. These quilts now adorn the interior walls of the historic Oak Grove School, adding to the beauty of the renovated building. One of the quilts is made with fabric dating back to the 1940s.

“The goal of the project was to bring the community together by promoting both the Book Station and the Quilting Bee; two valuable resources in our Sharps Chapel community,” said project leader Mary N. Johnson. “It is our hope that this event is only the beginning. We hope that our friends and neighbors will enjoy the quilts, get inspiration from the stories of the quilt’s creators, and continue to learn and grow through reading and the arts. We have a wonderful resource here with the Sharps Chapel Book Station.”
Norris Lake Quilting Bee founder Nancy Sullivan built the dowel rod hangers for display and hung the quilts.

Eric Holcomb and Patricia Cox were two of the entertainers on hand to keep things lively with music and help celebrate the event. If you came hungry, there was more than enough delicious food prepared by Quilting Bee members to tempt even the most devoted dieter. Union County Historian Bonnie Peters was on hand with some of her writings about Union County along with members of Preservation Union County who were instrumental in the renovation of Oak Grove School.

SCBS librarian, Sherry Medina, is excited about the exposure this event will bring to the community and the book station.

“The Sharps Chapel Book Station has been open here at Oak Grove School since March of last year but it is surprising how many people still don’t know we’re here,” said Medina. “We hope to sponsor more events like this one to draw the community in to visit this historic building and see what the book station has to offer.”

Mary Johnson was also responsible for developing, writing and publishing a book containing photos of the donated quilts along with stories from the quilters. The book is titled 2019 Norris Lake Quilting Bee Community Project and has its home in the book station.

Norris Lake Quilting Bee meets the 2nd and 4th Thursday 10am – 2pm at Irwin’s Chapel Methodist Church. Info: Nancy Sullivan: 301-667-5356. Many members are 2nd and 3rd generation quilters.

Currently meeting at the Sharps Chapel Book Station every Friday 12 - 2pm is the Sit-n-Stitch Craft Group led by Vivian Wright. Every Wednesday’s featured fun is a Music Jam Session led by Eric Holcomb from 12 - 2pm. Librarian Sherry Medina hopes to add more meetings and events in the future.

Sharps Chapel Book Station's current hours are MWF 9am – 2pm, Saturdays 8am – 1pm. MWF hours will change when school is out of session for the summer to 1 – 6pm. Library card holders may check out and return books from both Sharps Chapel Book Station and the Maynardville Library. Free Wi-Fi is offered during library hours and computers are available, or you can bring your own.

In 2018, the Tennessee Historical Commission added Oak Grove School to the National Register of Historic Places.

Visiting Sharps Chapel Book Station is a great trip for kids, but adults will enjoy the historical significance of the building along with the book choices. The original windows bring natural light inside, making the interior an inviting place to snuggle with a favorite book. And now there are beautiful quilts to peruse as well.

Musicians Eric Holcomb and Patricia Cox provide background music and entertainment for the event.

Sharps Chapel Book Station Librarian Sherry Medina stands below a quilt by Rebecca L. Miller that contains fabric from the 1940s purchased by Miller at an estate sale. The quilt pattern is the only completely hand-pieced and hand-quilted project on display.

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Luttrell neighborhood watch

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 - 19:00
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