Area quilter Cheryl Bush and Craig Centennial Committee member Carol Jacobson will begin taking quilt blocks, pictured above, to area groups this month so people can sign them and leave short messages.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Area quilter Cheryl Bush and Craig Centennial Committee member Carol Jacobson will begin taking quilt blocks, pictured above, to area groups this month so people can sign them and leave short messages.

Crafting a tradition

Craig resident of 28 years makes Centennial quilt her last area project before moving on

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Where to go

Centennial quilt block

signing locations

• Museum of Northwest Colorado,

590 Yampa Ave.

• Downtown Books, 543 Yampa Ave.

• Cheryl Bush, a local quilter, and Carol Jacobson, Craig Centennial Committee member, plan to take quilt blocks around to area groups this month.

Call: 824-5343.

— Cheryl Bush has plans.

One includes moving to the Grand Junction area this summer in search of milder winters.

But Bush, a Craig resident for 28 years, has one major project left on her list before she leaves.

Bush, who has been quilting since age 14, has agreed to put needle to fabric before she heads west, to help with a quilt that celebrates the Craig Centennial.

Bush has "graciously, even with enthusiasm, agreed to coordinate this effort," said Carol Jacobson, Craig Centennial Committee member.

On Monday, Bush and Jacobson will begin taking multicolored quilted blocks around to area groups, including meetings of the AARP and The Red Hat Society, where people can leave their name or a brief message on them.

Quilt blocks also will be available for signature at the Museum of Northwest Colorado, 590 Yampa Ave., and Downtown Books, 543 Yampa Ave.

The messages people leave can vary - with one limitation.

"Nothing negative, please," Bush said.

Apart from that stipulation, people can choose what they write on the blocks, or whether they leave a message at all.

"Something - or nothing," Bush said. "It's alright."

At the end of the month, Bush will begin sewing the blocks together. The finished quilt will go on display at the Museum of Northwest Colorado later this year.

"It is a community quilt to celebrate the Centennial and people who live here," Jacobson said.

"Or have lived here," Bush said, adding that people who used to live in Craig are invited to sign the quilt. "They're part of this, too."

Normally, Bush would charge $400 to $600 for a quilt the size she envisions - a queen-sized spread covering 8,100 square inches.

But, Bush is doing this project free of charge. She believes the project will be funded primarily through private donations.

"If people want to donate (money for the quilt supplies), that would be great," she said.

Bush intends to complete the quilt top by July, in time for summer activities celebrating Craig's centennial. The Embroidery Shoppe will complete the quilt, said Renata Beason, the store's co-owner.

Whether or not Bush meets her deadline this month partly depends on the response she gets from the community.

Bush will need about 165 signed blocks by the end of the month to make the queen-size quilt she plans.

It's no easy job, Bush said.

But, her labor will create a tangible artifact from Craig's Centennial celebration - something Jacobson believes the celebration needs.

Other Centennial events scheduled for this year, including a concert by Three Dog Night, come and go, Jacobson said.

But she expects the quilt to be different.

"This is here and always will be here," she said.

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