READFIELD — Marilyn Wadleigh Bean, of Vienna, was grateful for the quilt her mother and grandmother made for her in the 1940s.

The quilt, with pink checks and butterflies, was made by Minella Wadleigh and Addie Wadleigh, and it’s mostly made of grain bags and sheep’s wool.

“The finished quilt was so warm on colder winter nights when we did not have central heat,” Bean recounted. “Back bedrooms were usually quite a ways from the wood stoves. If you look carefully, you will see some of the pieces of wool poking out through the fibers of the material on front and back.”

Bean’s quilt will be among 100 or so — some more than a century old — that will be on display Saturday at the historic Readfield Union Meeting House. People who are interested in the traditional folk art of American quiltmaking will want to drop in on the quilt show at the meeting house on Church Road, just a stone’s throw north of Readfield Four Corners.

All proceeds of the quilt show will benefit the meeting house. Potter said the quilts on display are not for sale, but just for show. Admission to the show is free, but there will be a donation box so people can make contributions toward the upkeep of the meeting house.

Organizers expect more than 100 quilts to be draped over the backs of the pews of the 1827 meeting house. The event is open to anyone to show a quilt they have made, or an antique quilt that has been passed down in their family. Doors open at 8 a.m. for quilters to drop off their quilts, while the public will be welcome to view the show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“There are old quilts and there are new quilts,” said Evelyn Potter, of Readfield, who serves on the Readfield Meeting House Committee.

Potter said a blanket and two quilts from the historic Fogg Homestead in Readfield will be on display. Throughout the day, several appraisers will be on hand to estimate the monetary value of the quilts that are on display, Potter said.

A patchwork quilt depicting all 50 states, the state birds and state flowers and the dates the states entered the Union will be raffled off at 2 p.m., Potter said. Raffle tickets cost $1 apiece.

“This is the first quilt show that’s been held in the meeting house in a long, long time,” Potter said. “It will be both fun and a fundraiser all in one.”

The Readfield Union Meeting House features trompe l’oeil, or “fool-the-eye” paintings, which give the illusion of real objects appearing on their flat surfaces. These unusual paintings were done by artist Charles Schumacher in the 1800s and were known throughout New England.

The meeting house also features several antique stained-glass windows and a well-maintained interior. Several religious denominations have used the building as their meeting place, including Methodists and Spiritualists. The building also has been used for eighth-grade graduation ceremonies in Readfield.

People who are showing their quilts don’t have to register in advance to participate in the show, but they do have to register at the door. Participants should include a short written history with each quilt, Potter said.

Anyone with questions can call Joan Wiebe at 685-4925.


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