Kindred quilters

You might think that Jada Johns and Elvera Benson (pictured) have little in common, but they share a special bond in the world of quilting. Photo / Per Peterson

Elvera Benson was in her early 20s when she made her first quilt, using a 1950s treadle sewing machine — a foot-powered device now considered an antique among most quilting hobbyists.

Today, the 86-year-old continues to create beautiful quilts, and some of them were on display at the Jean and Don Schmidt farm at last Wednesday’s St. Mary’s CCW 7th Annual Tracy Area Gardens and Quilts Tour.

“I started with the church ladies — they were making quilts for missions — and I got interested in it and thought, ‘I can do this for myself,’” Benson said as she sat in front of her favorite quilt that was hanging under a canopy in the Schmidt’s back yard last week. “I just love creating something pretty; I like the feel of the fabric.”

Benson’s was one of many quilters who had their wares on display at last week’s tour, which featured gardens at Lori and Val Eberspachers, Wild Acres Park, Amy and Jamie Larsen’s home in Milroy, Carole Snyder’s farm and the Milroy City Park. The Schmidt’s Stations of the Cross was also on display last week, and garden and quilt lovers were treated to a wide array of flowers and plants, as well as hundreds of quilts throughout the tour.

Look for more in this week’s paper.