NORWAY — Stories written by quilters from the past 200 years will be read in the upcoming theatrical presentation of “Piece Work: Voices from American Quilters.”

The show, which combines quilts and music, will begin at 7 p.m. Nov. 1 at the Norway Memorial Library on Main Street.

Sally Jones, who created the show as part of her series For the Love Of A Song, said it is a unique theater in which readers share stories that explain why quilting was so important to them. They present a snapshot of an important American folk art, she said.

Readers are Kellie Sanborn, Leah Haney, Bill Libby and Kathy Davis, all experienced local actors, who have performed with each other in various productions. Musicians Fawn Palmer and David Knightly perform songs that reflect and enhance the readings.

Some quilts will be on display. The audience is invited to bring their own and share stories about them.

Regardless of when the quilters lived, they all express a few things in common: that making a quilt brings them peace and joy, that it is a labor of love and that many are given as gifts to friends and family, Jones said. They feel pride in their creativity and their skill, and they cherish the heirloom quilts that connect them to their past.

To prepare for the long and difficult journey in wagon trains, pioneer women related how they sewed many quilts to be used in practical ways. However, the quilting also gave them ways to express their fears about moving West with their families to a new home, as well as their sorrow of leaving the homes they knew.

Jones said she has found through her research that in both the North and the South, women and children spoke of making thousands and thousands of quilts to send to their soldiers in the Civil War, especially the sick and wounded. Later, during World Wars I and II, women also supported the war efforts with quilts. Today, both men and women often use quilts to commemorate and memorialize various causes.

Beth Allen from Tailor Made in Norway will furnish costumes for the production, while Doris Ray will provide technical assistance with the projection system, which will display many beautiful and important quilts.

Refreshments will be provided following the concert. This program is free and open to the public. The doors will open at 6:30 pm.


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