AUUF Story Quilt
presented to the Auburn Unitarian Universalist Fellowship by
The Gentle Person’s Sewing Circle and Fruit-Eating Guild
April 14, 1996
Square A1 Amy Kaiser
The purchase of Winn-Dixie and Kroger food coupons is an on-going fund-raising project for the Fellowship. Additionally, donating food certificates to Safehouse is a continuing Social Action project.
Square A4 Luke Hein, Age 6
This is a curtain around all the shapes in the world. These shapes are from our church.
Square A5 Fred Hoerr
The AUUF Macho Men meet at a local tavern on the first Friday of each month. Discussions run the macho gamut of meditation, megabytes, politics, children, literature, sports, the finer points of eating wings and crawfish, and our journeys through life. The Macho Men's quilt square exemplifies masculine stereotypes: rough as the square of sandpaper on which our tough name is transcribed in wire and nails. The red sequin heart represents the sensitivity that makes these macho men very special.
Square A6 Cindy Reinke
One of my earliest "pictures" of what the quilt should contain was the progression of sites where AUUF has met over the years. My first idea was to represent each of the actual buildings where AUUF met. I took pictures of these buildings and tried to come up with quilt designs from them. The armory is such a nondescript building that I couldn't come up with an attractive (and recognizable) design. I was also concerned that putting the Presbyterian church on the quilt would be confusing - but how do you indicate just the basement? That brought me to my next idea, listing the meeting places. Then it was a matter of coming up with an attractive format.
Square A7 Kitty Frey
This square was inspired by an RE activity in the 5-8 year old class. We made individual wreaths from kudzu vine, but at one point everyone stood together while being encircled by vine. The result was a lot of fun and a huge wreath which we decorated and presented to the Fellowship at Christmas time. I tried to portray the liveliness of the event by using the 3-D figures and real vine.
Square A8 Amy Kaiser
The bid card pictured in this square represents the annual auction, a mainstay of the AUUF calendar. More than just a fund-raising activity, the auction is also a lively social event.
Square B1 Donna Sollie
Ethan's square has materials that were used in his nursery-my mother (Grammy to him) made the bumper pads and dust ruffle for his crib from the materials I used in his quilt square. I like to cross-stitch, and I decided to put his name in the center, with three interlocked hearts beneath his name. The hearts symbolize our becoming a family. Ethan means "strong"-and he does have a strong, and delightful, personality. Before he was even born, Ethan was the impetus for Chuck and me to join AUUF. We knew we wanted our child to have a liberal religious upbringing, and we joined AUUF when I was about three months pregnant. We were drawn to the community of people, and AUUF has become an integral part of our lives.
Square B2 Marty Hoerr
The Shell Sisters began as a committee but over a period of time became a family. A group of eight women met for eight months to plan worship services for the 1995 UU Womanspirit Gathering. "Checking-in" during planning sessions created an atmosphere where friendships deepened as goals were accomplished. One of the worship services organized by the committee was a ritual in which each participant would be given a shell. The committee journeyed to the beach on a retreat to collect the shells and to focus on the four worship services. Upon leaving the rented home the committee signed the guest book "The Shell Sisters." The sisters continue to meet.
Square B3 Robin Ward, Age 6
I like trains. There's a railroad track near where I live and I cross the railroad track to get to church.
Square B4 Ella Churchill Wilhoit, Age 7
This is a book with a garden growing out of it. I did this because every morning when someone says it's time for church I think about children's story and that's my favorite part of church.
Square B5 Amy Kaiser
The Family Circle was created in 1992 as a way for families to enjoy doing creative activities together. As the Family Circle grew and changed to include a more diverse group of participants, the named changed to Circle of Friends. The interconnected circles of this square represent that change. The richly textured, more deeply colored fabrics of the second circle indicate the depth and richness that diversity has brought to the Circle of Friends.
Square B6 Cindy Reinke
This square continues the history of the AUUF's meeting places. It represents AUUF coming to the Ebenezer Baptist church building and includes the historical importance of the building itself.
Square B7 Amy Kaiser
The cross is one of the religious symbols included in the quilt and it represents Christian traditions. I chose the plain, simple fabric for the cross to contrast with the rich, ornate silk background fabric in an effort to visually represent how a carpenter's life has been surrounded by much ceremony and ritual. This square also reminds me of the cross at the front of the church in which I was raised. It is a strikingly plain cross, carved by a Scottish immigrant carpenter, mounted on an intricately-patterned red brocade panel. As I worked on this square the image of that cross from my childhood kept appearing in my mind.
Square B8 Cindy Reinke
During the early meetings on making quilts for the Fellowship, we looked at some pictures of lovely abstract quilts. This gave me the idea of doing an abstract square. I decided to use the chalice theme for the square, since I was representing the idea of the chalice and flame. I combined the abstract design with traditional hand-sewn piecing to come up with this multiple chalice: there are at least 16 separate chalices of various sizes, some facing inward, some outward, in the square. Most of the squares I made had input from other members of my family, usually my husband Mike. My sister, Kathy, was visiting when I was putting this square together. Both she and Mike worked with me to come up with the final color combinations.
Square C1 Marty Hoerr
The theme for the 1995 Unitarian Universalist Womanspirit Spring Institute and Gathering was "HERoes, Our Lives Tell The Tale." In order to heal the circle of life we must be HERoic. We visualize our sisters, ourselves, and our foremothers as powerful HERoes. Sister HERoes are the women in our daily lives, the self HERo is the one living within, and foremother HERoes are those who have inspired us. This is a claiming in celebration of these HERoes and how our lives tell the tale. Jolly Roberts designed the HERoes emblem.
Square C2 Amy Kaiser
Coffee time after the service is an important time for visiting and socializing at AUUF, and visitors are always invited to stay for coffee. I used my husband, Robert, as the model for the coffee-drinker to make sure that he was included in a square as part of the quilt.
Square C3 Ann Pearson
I have always thought the most attractive part of old Ebenezer Church is the wood inlay work on the ceiling. And my favorite part of the design is the four-pointed star in the center. I have never seen a four-pointed star used in any other church decoration, and no one now knows what, if anything, it symbolizes. Over the years I have always thought of it as "The Star of Ebenezer" here in the black-built church that was one of the first structures in Lee County placed on the National Register of Historic Places (1975) through the efforts of the Auburn Heritage Association.
Square C4 Cindy Reinke
One of the "must have" squares that came out of a brain-storming session was Myra Provo's Easter Basket story. My idea for how to portray this story came almost as soon as the theme was suggested. I chose a traditional "basket" square design which allowed me to decorate the basket and indicate the mystery involved. Finding the little wooden Easter eggs was the final touch, making it become a true Easter Basket.
Square C5 Cindy Reinke
Diane Hanson provided the idea for this square -- coffee hour as represented by a steaming, welcoming, cup of coffee. This struck a chord with me, since I find coffee hour to be an important part of the Fellowship. Also, the irreverent "Coffee, Coffee, Coffee" hymn sung at one of Barb Jamestone's last services was the final push I needed to join the Fellowship. Digging through the fabric bags I came up with the perfect cloth for the mug. The result was a cheerfully decorated ceramic mug with welcoming, rather than formal, colors and texture.
Square C6 Katie Hanson, age 6
I picked out this square because I imagined this is how it would look when the whole quilt is pieced together.
Square C7 Cindy Reinke
The "Spirit of Life" square idea was written in the quilt idea book by someone in the fellowship - an anonymous contributor to the quilt. Thank you, who ever you are. How do you represent a song and its meaning? Since I am a very visual person, I used the pictures my mind makes as I sing the song, along with the first few notes of the song. I chose a light yellow background because this song makes me feel sunny and happy.
Square D1 Kushal Karmacharya, age 6
I picked the red and green Christmas colors and drew my house. My family is inside and my basketball hoop is outside.
Square D2 Elaine Crutchley, age 4
This square is the Circle of Life. There are animals in it because they are a part of the circle of life.
Square D3 Amy Kaiser
This square depicts the first Poem Sunday at the Fellowship, April 3, 1993. Those attending that service were invited to share poems or other readings significant to them. Additionally, Andrew Hein displayed his pet iguana (after lifting it out of a paper bag) and described how to take care of such a creature. To conclude the service, Mae Persons played a piece on the piano, her first public performance in some time.
Square D4 Sarah Warren
I thought the quilt needed to include a symbol of peace. The dove is made of material from Ghana, appliquéd onto a napkin of my mother’s. Since there are no olives growing in Alabama, the branch is from a plant (privet) in the same botanical family as olive.
Square D5 Laura Prange
Unitarian Universalists draw religious spirit and insight from all the religions of the world. Myra Provo lent the Gentleperson’s Sewing Circle and Fruit-Eating Guild a UU Service Committee Christmas card that had symbols of the major religions of the world on the back. This was the basis for this design representing Islam.
Square D6 Ashish Karmacharya, age 9
I play soccer, and I like soccer, and I have played for four seasons. I went to the All-Star team in Montgomery. I play soccer here and score lots of goals.
Square D7 Janice Ross
The square I made for the AUUF quilt is the one with the chalice with not one, but many tongues of flame coming from it. It is appliquéd and embroidered in bright colors and shiny fabrics that express not only my love for such colors and textures but also my idea of the rich character and variety of Unitarian Universalists and their beliefs.
Square E1 Laura Prange
Every few months the Chair of the Buildings and Grounds Committee will call for a Work Party. A crew gathers at around 8:30 on a Saturday morning and sets to work on a variety of chores, one of the most important of which is to make an urn of coffee for the mid-morning doughnut break! For me, working together to care for the R.E. building and "Old Ebenezer," as Fred Hoerr fondly addresses the building, evokes a special sense of belonging to a place and its people.
Square E2 Amy Kaiser
This is Sadie’s square portraying her naming ceremony at the Fellowship on April 2, 1995. The central section highlights the three main elements of the ceremony: blowing a dandelion, cutting a lock of hair, and lighting a candle. Other parts of the ceremony, those similar to ones used in older brother Jacob’s naming ceremony, hold down three corners, as well as a portrait of Sadie drawn by Jacob in the fourth. Quilted accents complete the design--hearts and a full moon, both of which played significant roles in Sadie’s birth.
Square E3 Keller Johnson, age 8
I like cats. I had two cats. One ran away. This is my cat that ran away, Aunt Silly.
Square E4 Cindy Reinke
This square is my representation of the Fellowship. From the first time I came, my visualization of the AUUF has been that of a welcoming, encircling group of people. It brings to mind a poem I learned as a child, telling of being laughed at, rejected, then turning the tables by outwitting mean-spirited people by "making a circle that takes them in." What a great expression of the Unitarian Universalist philosophy! I used highly-patterned fabrics to make simple one-piece outfits that look like multiple pieces.
Square E5 Cindy Reinke
What would our story quilt be without a square with the church building? This building has played an important role in our UU life, and shapes part of AUUF's image in my mind. This was one of my personal, "must haves" for the quilt. I took several pictures of the church, and used them to make a simple pattern. The "cloth bag" of donated fabrics was once again a treasure chest which yielded fabrics that gave the looks of siding, shingles, lawn, bushes, etc.
Square E6 Amy Kaiser
This square portrays the elements we included in Jacob’s naming ceremony at the Fellowship on October 9, 1992. Jacob’s initials are surrounded by the cutting of a lock of hair, pouring and splashing water, ringing the spirit bells, and planting a dogwood tree (shown growing in each season) all anchored by a heart full of love. We enjoyed planning and doing Jacob’s naming ceremony because we were able to create a unique ritual specifically for him that embodied things we found meaningful and significant.
Square E7 Marty Hoerr
The medicine bag is sacred as it is an extension of the carrier’s inner being. Objects that are special to the holder are placed inside the bag as a reminder of the individual’s spiritual journey. The four medicine bags represent the Hoerr family (Fred, Marty, August, and John) and have been uniquely created to represent each member. The bags are made from deer hides softened by Marty. The small glass beads that adorn each bag were added to further represent each family member. Special objects were placed in the bag that represented the individual and his/her spiritual journey.
Square E8 Laura Prange
Unitarian Universalists draw religious spirit and insight from all the religions of the world. Myra Provo lent the Gentleperson’s Sewing Circle and Fruit-Eating Guild a UU Service Committee Christmas card that had symbols of the major religions of the world on the back. This was the basis for this design representing Buddhism.
Square F1 Laura Prange
This is my husband, Rex Gandy’s, story. When he first started going to the Fellowship it was Christmastime; he missed his children and he didn’t know anyone yet at the Fellowship. As he was stepping out the church door to go home one Sunday he was hailed by a friendly voice behind him. Ken Walters greeted Rex and gave him a loaf of homemade bread. When Rex relates this story you can tell that Ken’s bread worked the magic of fellowship and love.
Square F2 Jamie Foster-Mann, age 7
I like cats and I love kittens. I have a cat and a kitten, but this is not one of them. Cats are playful.
Square F3 Cindy Reinke
During the discussions of squares, members of the Fellowship mentioned the Cox Street house fondly. Once again, the Polaroid camera came out, and I dodged the traffic on Cox Street to get a good picture of the house. Digging through the "cloth bag" yielded wonderful fabrics: a brick-colored cloth with horizontal texturing that only needed vertical stitches to make perfect bricks, a gray-blue piece that mimicked the roof, and lovely corduroy for a nice green lawn. This was a fun and very satisfying square to do. It seemed to project not only the physical reality of the Cox Street house, but also the warm fellowship that continued to grow within it.
Square F4 Amy Kaiser
Life at the Fellowship runs smoothly in part due to the circulation of sign-up sheets. Everything from playground duty to committee work to food contributions begins with the words, "I’m passing around a sign-up sheet..."
Square F5 Amy Kaiser
I first started coming to the Fellowship because of Kate Griffin so it seemed fitting that the first square I made for this quilt is in honor of her. Kate often described the Fellowship as a hummingbird feeder, and those who know Kate know that a hummingbird is a good description of her since she is in constant motion. So, Kate, this square’s for you, with love.
Square F6 Wendy Streitz
The people of the AUUF were so warm and welcoming on our early visits, especially compared to the congregations of other churches we’d tried. It felt as if they (you) all had open arms and open hearts. I wanted to capture that by creating a square with many pairs of outstretched arms, but lacking the artistic ability, opted for a simpler approach. The result is a square with 6 doors, representing various churches, I suppose. Five are closed, but the sixth, marked AUUF, is open, with light, love, and music pouring out.
Square F7 Laura Prange
This square is symbolic of the group that formed two and a half years ago. The first meeting at my house featured a selection of healthy refreshments--fruit treats and drinks. That was when we decided to make a story-telling quilt that chronicled the life of the Fellowship, and that was when Jennie Raymond named our group the Gentleperson’s Sewing Circle and Fruit-Eating Guild. Our group meets once a week at one or another of the member’s homes during all but the summer months, and it is our tradition that the host make a lovely fruity dessert to go with a cup of tea. Join us. Sewing on projects together is a powerful binding thing.
Square F8 Amy Kaiser
As a regular part of our worship service, children are invited up for the children’s story. This square depicts children listening intently; they are surrounded by various folk tales, books, personal stories, and fables that people have shared with the children. The corner of the square portrays singing the children on their way to "Go Now in Peace."
Square G1 many hands
This square, the "cornerstone" of the quilt, emodies the sense of community inherent in both the quilt and our Fellowship. Everyone present at the dedication and presentation of the quilt took at least one stitch on the square so we can truly say that this quilt, representing our shared life in this Fellowship, was made by all.
Square G2 Claire Crutchley
The Star of David is the symbol of Judaism. As a child my family celebrated both the Jewish and Christian holidays, and it feels wonderful to be part of a church which respects and celebrates all religions. I knew I had truly found a home at the AUUF the Sunday that both the Hanukkah menorah and the Advent wreath were lit, a Native American story was told, and the Christmas tree was decorated.
Square G3 Amy Kaiser
Every Easter Sunday, members of the Fellowship share the bounties of their gardens by bringing flowers to adorn the table for the Flower Communion service. With these embroidered flowers I tried to capture the beauty of that service.
Square G4 Cindy Reinke
One of my images of important squares for the quilt was the history of the building itself. This square shows the first congregation felling trees to haul to the sawmill. The life-like three-dimensional style of South American handiwork was perfect for this active, joyful design.
Square G5 Cindy Reinke
This square finished the story of building the church. I was not trying to be "politically correct" with my portrayal of women working on the building, but realistic, since women in the 19th century were used to doing manual labor. I imagine that there were women who actively participated in the building of the church. I had fun with the people, making each one a separate personality, posed in a working position. I tried to reflect the joy of building the church by making flowered fields beside the road, and the cheerful, childish sun shining down on the workers.
Square G6 Marty Hoerr
Several years ago, the Ebenezer Baptist Choir sang for AUUF during Black History month. Prior to that time, little singing was performed at the Fellowship. A new chord was heard the day the Black choir sang in the historic building built by freed slaves. Thus, the AUUF choir was formed and has been singing ever since. The music brought a new spirit to the Fellowship and it was soon discovered that everyone either loves to sing or loves to listen to the singing. The quilt square is created with different shapes, colors and medium to represent the wide range of personalities in the present choir.
Square G7 Amy Kaiser
The six different fabrics used in this square represent the six different artisans who displayed their work in the first quilt show at the Fellowship in February, 1995. The show was such a success and so beautiful that it has become an annual event. Mozell Benson, a talented quilter and participant in the show, taught me how to piece this block using the "string quilt" technique, a method popular in the rural south as well as one used in several of the quilts in the show.