75th Anniversary Quilt
The Damascus Community 4-H Club, through its Sewing and Quilting Project Groups, created an historical “Partner Quilt” to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Damascus Community Fair. Area non-profits and businesses who have supported the fair throughout its history, through largely in-kind donations, provided their logos which were stitched into a colorful quilt representing 30 faithful partners. The quilt was purchased at the annual community fair auction by Mrs. Patricia McKenzie, local attorney and Lioness. Through an additional donation, the sale of the quilt added a total of $1500 to the fair’s coffers.
The quilt took 3 months to design and stitch. Adults Donna Hill, Nancy Warfield, Barbara Zellers, Kathleen Korzeniewski and JoAnne Leatherman, with 4-H teen leader Catherine Zellers, researched and prepared the individual quilt squares. Mrs. Korzeniewski is the volunteer leader of the Quilting Group, and Mrs. Leatherman works with the Sewing Group. Filler designs were supplied by Harwood House Thrift Store who donated general Damascus area T-shirts. The individual quilt squares were cut from organizational shirts/vests, uniform patches, scanned paper logos embossed onto knit fabric and machine embroidery. The Damascus Garden Club’s logo was hand-painted.
The 4-H members who sewed strips of quilt squares together according to a master layout were Layla el-Sherif, Anvita Divvela, Evie Graybil, and Catherine Zellers. Once the top was completed, Layla, Anvita, Nancy, JoAnne and Kathleen added batting and 4-H fabric backing, machine quilting the finished product. Using her embroidery machine, Kathleen also created logos where needed and a central square focused on the fair’s logo and 75th anniversary and applied the binding. All signed the quilt and a special pocket on the back contains a fair history in terms of the partners who contributed. A fourth member of the sewing group, Shea Cencula, carried the quilt through the auction. These girls love supporting the Damascus Community Fair; for example, Catherine and Anvita were second and third place participants in having the most teen entries.
The Damascus Community Fair has been successful throughout its history, thanks to its many supporters. Local residents of all ages bring their prized creations to display; volunteers spend all year planning and implementing the Fair and its activities, and local businesses, nonprofits and individuals support with in-kind and cash donations. All this community partnership has resulted in a family-friendly, popular event drawing engagement from a broad geographical area spanning at least four counties. The 75th celebration was postponed a year until 2022 because of the pandemic but it was a celebration to remember.