SVP Historical Summary
The Schoharie Valley Piecemakers Quilt Guild ( here in “SVP”) was originally formed in the fall of 1986 at the home of Viola Scranton in Schoharie with the purpose “to further the art of Quilting”. This can be accomplished by many methods, including instruction, sharing of helpful hints, challenges, block of the month, quilt shows, round robins, mystery quilts, show and tell, sharing books and literature, community service, and FUN. The group typically met once a month for many years at the Schoharie Reformed Church basement, with each session including some form of demonstration, speakers, and various work sessions. Other original members included Chris Polak and Ann Doerge of Middleburgh and Arlene Vrooman and Marge Klahr of Schoharie.
Also in 1986 Vi Scranton became the first of many SVP members to be inducted into the Catskill Mountain Quilters’ Hall of Fame. This regional group includes members from 11 guilds around the Catskill area, and heavily emphasizes the “hand-made” aspects of the craft, as well as the art and design brought forth by the makers through a body of the inductees’ works and their spreading of the craft via community education and involvement. The current list of inductees is listed below.
In the mid-1990’s, a free-lance writer named Steve Hoare was hired to write a book about the history of quilt-making in the Catskills. It took him 2 ½ years of research and untold miles of driving around the region to collect what largely was an oral history of the craft, its makers, and how it is woven into the cultural history of the regions. The result in 1996 was a 248 page book entitled “The Unbroken Thread: A History of Quiltmaking in the Catskills”, published by Black Dome Press, and it included profiles of the 48 hall of fame inductees at that time, including four from SVP.
For many years SVP hosted their own quilt exhibit in the Schoharie Reformed Church, but eventually outgrew that venue. Several shows were also held in the Middleburgh Library, with proceeds going to help with ongoing library and associated Best House rehabilitation needs. Guild members also typically participate in other shows throughout the region, most of which are held on a bi-annual basis. SVP is also a main member of the much larger regional co-op of guilds that sponsors the Empire Quilt Fest, which is held every other year in the New York capital area (most recently at Shenendehowa High School).
Reflecting the spirit involved since the beginning of the “quilting bee”, the group also pools their talents to support numerous community and individual needs by making and donating various quilted items, such as small and large quilts, bibs, placemats, and the like. Some of the groups supported include local branches of Community and Maternity Services, Catholic Charities, Wounded Warriors/ Warriors in Action, and Meals on Wheels, as well as other veterans organizations, cancer support, community fund-raisers (such as the library), and other designated charities as voted on by the membership.
CATSKILL MOUNTAIN QUILTING “HALL OF FAME” MEMBERS FROM SVP:
Viola Scranton (deceased) 1986
Anna Marie Tucker (deceased) 1987
Arlene Vrooman 1987
Christine Polak (deceased) 1990
Joan Youmans 1996
Kimmey Decker 1998
Theresa Kahrs 2002
Helene Langan 2004
Betty Pillsbury 2013
Betsy Macomber 2015
Sharon Vrooman 2017
Kathleen Livingston 2019