By Sue Moore
Two beautiful styles of quilting are on display for the public to view through mid-October at the Schoolcraft library.
AnJie Havens, a long-time Schoolcraft resident, makes her quilts with specific people in mind when she creates her designs. Kirk and Kelly Bergland have sometimes used their quilt designs to teach school children the fundamentals of mathematics and even include history lessons in the quilts. They did this when they were residents of Los Angeles through the 1990s. They moved to Schoolcraft three years ago and brought their quilts with them and were willing to put them on display.
Havens has been associated with local area quilters for many years through her church and recreational activities including Diane Westfall and Jan Bigley and their husbands. “I like bright, eye-popping colors. I guess it goes with my personality. Diane is into the warm colors for her quilts,” she said during the special open house for the display. She loves to relax by sewing when watching TV, making quilts made out of scraps. Then she turns the work over to be finished by Patty Bradtke who has a long-arm sewing machine that makes it easier to put together.
The Bergland quilts often feature geometric shapes which were a part of the math that third graders were learning. Their own children were in these classes and as they grew, the quilts would become part of the curriculum each grade level was studying. The children would draw pictures of their own memories on 4 x 6 pieces of muslin and then Kirk would assemble these into a quilt top. When their kids were in sixth grade, he would go into the classroom and teach the students to hand stitch the colored triangles, squares and rectangles together to use as sashing around the hand drawn pictures from the class curriculum.
Hand quilting is a small running stitch that holds the layers of the quilt together. “Quilts are made of three layers, kind of like a peanut butter sandwich. The top is like the top piece of bread, the backing is like the bottom piece of bread and the batting – the insulation, is like the peanut butter filling in the middle,” Bergland explained to the guest at the library. The hand quilting is his favorite part of the construction of the quilt. “Whether made by hand or by machine, it’s the quilting that holds a quilt together just like in a relationship or a family. It’s the love that holds it together,” he said.